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Kanheri Caves

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My ex- colleague, Nimish, and I set out to see Kanheri Caves which are located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, popularly known as the Borivali National Park.

Kanheri Caves
The caves are located around 6 km from the entrance of the Borivali National Park and around 7 km from Borivali station.
Road leading to Kanheri Caves in the National Park
We bought an entry ticket to the National Park. It was a two-hour trek to reach our destination, Kanheri Caves. It was fun walking in the Park. We hoped to see some wild animals along the way. But sadly all that we got to see were a few monkeys.
Monkey spotted on the way
We bought some fruits from a tribal woman who lived in the forest. Even as she sold us the fruits, which kept us going along the two-hour hike, she regaled us with stories of what it is like to live in the forest. She talked about the difficulties they face on a daily basis, considering that they live in such close proximity to wild animals. I was amazed to hear some of the stories that she told us. She and the people of her tribe are indeed brave to be living so dangerously.
Road leading to Kanheri Caves
We had refreshments at the entrance of Kanheri Caves and then proceeded to see the caves. There were quite a few people up there to see the caves. Surprising! There are around 109 caves in there but they are not positioned in numerical order.

Photos of Caves Below

Carvings behind the Stupa in a Cave
These caves, built between the 1st and the 9th centuries, were carved by Buddhist monks out of basalt rock formation. They were used for the purpose of meditation, study and for habitation. Some of the caves were beautifully carved. These caves are very well planned as they had a very good canal system and cisterns that collected all the rain water.

Photos of Carvings on the Cave Walls

The caves had well-cut stairs in the rocks leading to the top of the mount. There is a prayer hall within, known as Vihara in Sanskrit. All the caves consisted of Spartan beds used for meditation purposes.
Steps cut out in the Rocks
I felt very sad on seeing the way the caves were maintained, but nevertheless the good thing is that they have lasted this long and that people return to see them. It took us around 3 hours to see all the caves. Tired and exhausted we returned to the entrance of Kanheri Caves to have our dose of refreshments and then decided to get back home.
A view of the City from Kanheri Caves
Kanheri Caves is a haven for picnickers, especially in the rainy season when a number of waterfalls make their appearance.
Me sitting at the banks of the stream
We had to walk down 2 hours to reach the entrance of Borivali National Park. We did a detour on the way and decided to spend some time at one of the streams running through the park. It was fun sitting at the banks of the stream with our feet in the water with the little fish playing around our feet. That was like a good natural massage for our feet.

Didn’t want to move out of the water. But had to go as it was getting dark, so we headed   back home.


Anand Dalvi (आनंद दळवी) said...

great work, nice photos Merwyn.

PRANNAV 555 said...

good pics, and useful information.


Thanks Pranav and Anand

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