Kanheri Caves Mumbai

Many of us pass years before final decision to visit this nature's feast adored by a human ( 2400 years ago) Kanheri Caves just near Borivali, Mumbai. It took me 50 years to reach this point, since my first visit to this city in 1965.

Mumbai and caves!

Mumbai was built on seven islands. As old sediments around coastal areas of Kandivali shows us, Mumbai was inhabitable since the stone age. It was mainly occupied by Koli fishing community.

Caves in around Mumbai are:
  1. Elephanta Caves (built in 6th – 7th century AD)
  2. Jogeshwari Caves
  3. Mahakali Caves, Andheri (230 feet high, 19 caves built during 1st – 2nd century AD)
  4. Mandapeshwar Caves
  5. Kondivate Caves and
  6. Kanheri Caves, Borivali
So, we need to know Mumbai possesses caves at six places.

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai

My wife Bhavana, my daughter Vaishali and I visited this monument 6 km inside National park, Borivali on the NH Mumbai for our surprise, because we did not know anything about this place! It was a great surprise indeed, there were 109 caves at different levels on the mountain. In spite of painful knee joints, I could easily go up, because of the typical steps situated one by one with a five feet plain area to walk around before the next step (photo).

Word "Kanheri" comes from Sanskrit "Krishna Nagari" meaning black mountains. Mumbai was part of the Buddhist emperor Ashok of Magadha's empire in the third century before Christ. The caves were excavated to serve as an important centre for Buddhism in Western India. It was a "university centre" during Mauryan and Kushan empires.

The main purpose of these caves was to prepare a place for living, studying and meditating in peace for Buddhism. So they engraved hall for prayer "Vihara" with "Stupa" of Buddhist shrine in Cave no. 3. Cave no. 34 has an unfinished painting of Buddha. Sculptures of standing Buddha of more than 30 feet is visible in Cave no. 2. Most of the caves are halls for staying. These caves are situated at different heights.

You have to feel the dense forest and nature for yourself, no words are enough.

Kanheri Caves are wonderful picnic spot with the feel of a dense forest, hills, and ancient art dating back to 2500 years making it a full day tour point. During the rainy season, multiple waterfalls decorate these hills with a nice scene to be seen and felt by emotions.

Visit at leisure without hurry, being with nature-loving positive attitude friends and resultant pleasure will be a lifetime memory worth repeating.

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