Monday, February 02, 2009

Kanheri Caves

In the heart of Sanjay Gandhi National Park are the Kanheri caves. According to the good old Wiki, the caves were used by Buddhist monks as places for meditation and prayer and apparently date back to 1st to the 9th century BC. This location must have been an ideal retreat for those seeking solitude and peace. The large meditation hall is the first piece of construction that one comes across. The hall is lined with pillars on the inside, and is quite unadorned otherwise while the walls of the outside veranda carry Buddhist sculptures.

The main meditation hall


This shot of the meditation hall and the Buddha below are fairly common. The pillars not so much! :)

Pillars in the small veranda outside the meditation hall



Buddha on the side walls in the veranda



Although this place is a Buddhist relic, our good friend S pointed out other influences - a sculpture of the Hindu snake god and a sculpture of common people (we think) of those periods.

Beyond the main meditation hall, there are smaller dwellings all around the place. If you hike across and slightly beyond the main lay of the caves, you come to the spot where we clicked the ghost trees (previous post) and the view of Mumbai.

When we landed at the caves, there was a huge group of 40-50 college kids at the Kanheri caves – flooding the place, and acting silly that we immediately sought out a quieter parts to explore. When we were leaving, the caves were packed with people –families and groups of friends on a weekend outing. Were we glad to have had an early start!

5 comments:

Final_Transit said...

Beautiful pictures Neeraja!

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

The post reminds me to visit.
Saturday - done.

GMG said...

Hi Ms.N!
Beautiful trip, awesome pictures, wonderful post! What can I say more?...!

Loved to read you at Blogtrotter, which has something new on India's Roads.... Hope you enjoy! ;)

Wish you a great weekend!

Ravi Kumar said...

Awesome! reminds me of Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves in Bhubaneswar in my city. I will post about them in my next visit. Good work Neeraja!

GMG said...

Hi N!
Interested in Rajasthan? Blogtrotter has a new post on it! Enjoy, comment and have a great weekend! ;))