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Kanheri Caves in Mumbai is one of the best places to visit for a pleasant break from the noisy, polluted city.
What Is It?
Nestled in The Sanjay Gandhi National Park of Borivali, The Kanheri Caves date back to 1st Century BC and are believed to be one of the oldest Buddhist caves the city has. Spanning from 1st century BC to 11th century AD, these caves provide an insight into the evolution of Buddhism. The word Kanheri originates from the Sanskrit word ‘Krishnagiri’, which means black; each cave here is formed from a black basalt rock. It is believed that the single cell caves were used for meditation, studying and living. The caves are almost 2000 years old and there are around 100’s of them.
The Buddhist monks majorly used these as meditation centres; there are large halls with stupas and Buddhist shrines that have numerous Buddhist paintings and carvings on them.
When you enter any of the caves, you feel a strange silence and calm even in the midst of so much noise (from the people visiting). The temperature too is cooler inside the cave, and I think it would be my ideal place to take a book with me to read.
There is a lot to see and explore at the Kanheri Caves. Not just in terms of the caves, but also what the surroundings have to offer. There are around 35 incomplete paintings of Buddha within the caves, there’s a prayer hall called the Vihara, and of course the beauty of Mother Nature which combines with vedic architecture of the caves, to make your trip a beautiful one. Natural streams and waterfalls during the monsoons make this place look even more lively and beautiful.
The caves are situated at an elevation from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, so you can either take a bus to the Kanheri Caves from the Park or hike your way up to the caves. Also, once you are at the caves, you won’t be able to find anything to eat or drink, so you might want to buy a water bottle from the shop at the foot of the Kanheri caves.
Address: Borivali East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400066
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