Full Day Karla And Bhaja Caves Tour - Lonavala-Maharashtra
These are among the oldest caves in India and date back all the way to 160 B.C To get to Karla you have to take a 12km drive along the highway towards Pune and turn left a little after passing MTDC's Holiday home and then drive further 3km down a narrow road. Regular S.T bus services are available. From the base it is a stiff 600 feet climb to the top and it is recommended that adequate water is carried along by you. The principal cave is the largest Chaitya among Buddhist cave in the country, Being 15meters wide and 16 meters high. The most remarkable feature of the cave is its arched roof supported by wooden beams which have astonishingly survived the onslaught of elements for more than 2,000 years. The Wooden Umbrella above the Chaitya is unique in the Buddhist caves around the world. There is absolutely no sign of any corrosion. It is the finest example of the kind perhaps in the world.
At the entrance of the principal cave is the temple of Goddess Ekvira visited by thousands of devotees from the coastal region around Mumbai during the annual fair falling in April (chaitra) and also during Navratri. Ekvira temple is on the right side of the main cave while at the left side is a lofty column with three lions on its top.
Reaching Bhaja by road requires to drive down the same route along the highway as Karla but instead of turning left you must take the road on the right and drive past Malavali station and follow a quite road a further 3km to Bhaja village, There is no bus service to Bhaja but you can take a local train to Malavali station.From the village it is a 250 feet climb to the caves.There are 18 caves, twelth being a chaitya hall with finest carving in the cave complex. First cave appears to be the dwelling of the master architect while 10 others are viharas for priests.Remaining seven caves have inscription about donors.
Location : Lonavala
Duration : 6 - 8 hours
Meet the tour guide at the designated hotel lobby in Mumbai at 7am & proceed to Karla .These caves were excavated for the Buddhist monks who used to gather here during the monsoons. One of the finest examples of Buddhist rock-cut architecture, the Karla Caves, dating back to the 2nd century B.C. belong to the Hinayana period. The caves at Karla comprise of one Chaitya (halls), which is the largest in the country and several viharas or monastries on the hill. The main hall, called the Great Chaitya is majestic in size and has 37 columns of pillars. There are subtle variations of design indicating an advance stage of the Buddhist art of decoration. At the entrance of the caves is the temple of Ekvera Devi, worshipped by a large section of Hindus and at the far end of the hall stands a stupa with an umbrella on the top.
After Indian Traditional Thali lunch at 1.30 pm, proceed to further Sightseeing to Bhaja.Ten of these caves are viharas, while cave No. 12 is a Chaitya hall similar in style to the Karla Caves. Cave No. 1 is the dwelling house of the master architect, and remaining 7 caves contain inscriptions about the donors. About 50 meters past this is a strange group of 14 stupas, five inside and nine outside the caves. There is no motor able road upto the foot of the caves and the distance of 1.6 km is to be covered on foot.
At the end of your journey at 5.30 pm , sit back and relax on the drive back to your Hotel in Mumbai
Guide Service :
- Optional on Request
- English Speaking or language of your choice subject to availability
- KARLA CAVES
- Bhaja Caves
- Cancellation before 72 Hrs before check in: Full Refund.
- Cancellation Before 48 Hrs before check in: 75% Refund.
- Cancellation Before 24 Hrs before check in: 50% Refund.
- Cancellation less than 24 Hrs of check in: No refund.