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Junnar Caves : Bhimashankar Caves in Junnar in Maharashtra

Friday, October 14, 2016

Junnar Caves: Bhimashankar Caves 

There are around 200 Buddhist caves in the hills of Junnar. The largest collection of caves at a single place in the whole of India. These caves belong to the Hinayana (Theravada) phase of Buddhism. They were built between 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD. The Junnar Caves are furthur divided on the hill ranges. The  Tulja Caves, The Shivneri Caves near the Shivneri Fort, The Manmodi Hills (comprising of Amba Ambika Caves, Bhimashankar Caves and Bhutalinga Caves) and Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves. 

Bhimashankar Caves (Zoom in to see)

After exploring Amba Ambika and Bhutalinga Caves we alighted the hills and headed in the car to travel on the Junnar Vadaj Road in search of the Bhimashankar Caves.

We managed to locate the caves up the Manmodi  hills in a distance,  There were no signboards there. There were a couple of small path (Pai wat in marathi) not sure where they led too.

We asked a couple of locals, they advised us not to visit the caves as there are many beehives there, plus there is no path that leads to the top. The caves looks beautiful in a distance. Which made us fall for them. We still decided to take our chances and visit the caves via the wild vegetation. We climbed up, reached dead ends.

There came a point, where I found it extremely difficult to get down. The soil and the grip of my shoes gave in. My confidence went for a toss. Thanks to my friend Manohar,  who guided me with instructions, I made it to the base. As we couldn't make it to the caves we took snaps of the caves from a distance.

Our next pit stop was the Gumbad. Gumbad was not on our itinerary. We had located it from  Bhutalinga Caves. I have been to a couple of Gumbad's (tombs) when I was in Delhi. There is no information about the Gumbad on the internet. The priest at Amba Ambika Caves also informed us to visit it.

There are no hotels near the Manmodi Hills. So one has to carry food and water. 


Anonymous said...

Safety should be your 1st priority, adventure & fun comes in next. Great job on your ventures. All the best for forthcoming ones. Ryan Dsouza.

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