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Bedse Caves in Maval Taluka near Lonavala in Pune

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bedse Caves are located in Maval Taluka near Lonavala in Pune District in Maharashtra. It can be accessed by road only. Maval district has Karla Caves and Bhaje Caves and Lohgad, Visapur, Tikona and Tung fort in its premises.
Vihara or dwelling room

After visiting Karla Caves we headed over to Bedse Caves. Please refer to Google maps for directions. As we were travelling by car it took us around 40 minutes to reach the base of the caves.
Narrow entry to one of the rooms
We traveled on the Ekvira Devi Road - Old Mumbai Pune Expressway - Pawnanagar Kamshet Road - Bedsegaon Road.

Bedse Village is a cluster of about 20 to 30 houses surrounded by fields on all sides. 
Vihara and another Cave
It was afternoon now. We parked the car near the foothills. Stairs are built to reach the top. The caves are not located atop the hill but somewhere in between, from the base of the hill one can locate the Caves.
Chaitya or prayer Hall
Again climbing the stairs is tiring. It will test your calves and knees. There are roughly around 400 plus steps to reach the top.

Finally we made it to the caves with a lot of breaks.
History states that the caves were built in 1st century BC. There is a chaitya (Prayer hall) and a vihara (dwelling room) apart from small caves and water tanks here. Fresh water is available in the water tanks. The water is cool and refreshing. 
Bedse Caves
The caves are smaller in size in comparison to Karla and Bhaje Caves.  

The viharas or the dwelling place of the monks, were rooms built by the monks to mediate. The floor of the rooms was uneven, The room will also consist of a rock cut elevated bed. Meant for sleeping. The entrance to the room is very narrow. I guess the monks were thin. The entrance to the rooms have beautifully carved horse shoe arches atop it. 
View of Maval District from Bedse Caves
The carvings on the Chaitya or prayer hall is very similar to Chaitya of Karla Caves. It has a stupa surrounded by pillars. But the pillars were not carved like the ones in Karla Caves. no wooden arches on the ceiling and no umbrella atop the Stupa. At the entrance of the Chaitya are Viharas with beautifully carved horse shoe arches atop it. The horse shoe arches are also carved on the walls of the caves. 

There is also a detailed carving of man, woman and animal atop the pillar at the entrance of the Chaitya.

Why am I even comparing these caves? oh God.
Carvings on  Chaitya in Bedse Caves
We met Santosh here, he doubles up both as a guide and guard at this place. Santosh is doing his MA in Economics and to earn pocket money works here 6 days a week from 9 AM to 6 PM. 
Chaitya in Bedse Caves
It was great chatting with Santosh. Though economics and history are not at all related he is still able to maintain a balance between them. He informed us about the history of this place too. 
We sat in the Chaitya premises. I felt so good to be here. All the sound I could hear was the chirping of the birds and the wind blowing. This is a good place to mediate. These caves are hardly visited by people. 
View of Bedsegaon from Bedse Caves
After doing my photography we headed over to Tikona Fort. At the base of the hill is this tree, covered with red colored flowers. Dominic was trying to convince me that this tree has red colored leaves. I was like "What?" Practically not possible. As we went closer we realized that they are red colored flowers but not a single leaf atop it. NO sign of leaves below the tree either, all that I could see is flower fallen from the trees.
The tree with red flowers


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