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Bhaje Caves

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

If you walk downhill from Lohagad and Visapur for around 1½ hours, you will reach Bhaje village. The caves here are located on the outskirts of the village around 7 km from Malavali station. A stairway has been constructed to enable climbers to reach the top. The stairway turned out to be very steep as we arrived at the top. Our knees seemed to almost give way. But that is still a small price to pay for the opportunity of seeing the caves.

Main Cave at Bhaje
The caves are managed under the Incredible India campaign. I had a chat with the ticket vendor who told me about his experiences on the forts and caves in Maharashtra.

There are around 18 to 22 caves which date back to 200 BC. As one enters the caves, there is a large shrine called Vihara with a huge stupa placed in it. The ceiling has wooden frames which are carved. How the wood has managed to survive the onslaught of time is a mystery. The caves, although small in number in comparison to Kanheri Caves, are brilliantly carved.

Bhaje Caves
To the right of the Vihara are 14 stupas standing, five inside and nine on the outside. Next to it is a small waterfall.

The caves can be seen in detail in 45 minutes. After viewing the caves and clicking photos, we decided to head back to Bhaje village and from there to Malavali. From Malavali, we took a local train to Lonavala and from there an Express train to Dadar in Mumbai.

Bhaje Caves from Lohgad Fort
Food and Water is available at Bhaje Village but not on the caves.

I was so tired that I slept for at least an hour in the train. It was truly an enjoyable trip.


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