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Gandharpale Buddhist Caves on NH66 aka NH17 near Mahad in Maharashtra (India)

Friday, May 27, 2016

After visting the Sav Hot Water Springs we headed over the NH17 to reach the Gandharpale Caves just before Mahad. Again they are located in the Mahad Taluka of the Raigad district of Maharashtra. The caves are located on the left hand side and can be easily seen from a distance while travelling on NH17 aka NH66. The caves are around 5 KM away from Hotel Neelkamal (Jetty for Sav Hot Water Springs).

Gandharpale Buddhist Caves high up on the hills

A series of steps leads to the caves. There is a tiny hut near the start of the steps, that serves cold drinks and packed snacks. These steps are newly built. But not that new either. I recollect, 2 decades ago, when I was schooling,  I used to travel to Goa by bus for summer vacation, I used to see these caves then, but was not sure as to what their names were.

Gandharpale Buddhist Caves
The caves structure are similar in nature to the ones I have seen at Kanheri Caves. A narrow stone staircase similar to the one at Bedse Caves leads to the caves at large. There should be around 24 caves here.

Stairs leading to Gandharpale Buddhist Caves and NH17
The cave premises are neat and tidy, I am sure they are looked after. The caves are not in very good condition though and they have graffiti on some of the cave walls. A stupa and certain carvings are still visible on certain caves. All the caves are carved on a single hill, similar to Ajanta and Aurangabad Caves near Aurangabad.

Gandharpale Buddhist Caves

We visited all the caves and then rested in one of them. The caves offer a wonderful view of the the NH17 and the tiny villages, farms and hills in a distance.

Stu[pa and Carvings at Gandharpale Buddhist Caves

We then headed to Khed Caves near the Khed ST Bus Stand. 


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