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Junnar Caves : Bhutalinga Caves in Junnar in Maharashtra

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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 further 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. 
Bhutalinga Caves
Bhutalinga Caves are located around 200 meters away from Amba Ambika Caves. They are located to the left of Amba Ambika Caves. There was a small path aka traverse on which one has to walk on for around 20 minutes to reach the Bhutalinga Caves. 
Bhutalinga Caves

On the way to the Bhutalinga Caves are located many rock cut cistern. These were used to store water. I peeped in, some were empty , others had dirty water accumulated in it. 
Bhutalinga Caves

Finally we reached the Bhutalinga Caves. The main cave which housed the Stupa was beautifully carved. It had a couple of stone carvings atop it. 
Bhutalinga Caves

There are fewer caves here in comparison to the Amba Ambika Caves. Most of the caves had carving atop it. Similar to  the ones I have seen at Karla and Bhaja Caves. It took us around 10 minutes to see the caves. We then headed back via the same route to reach Amba Ambika Caves. 
View from Bhutalinga Caves

Bhutalinga Caves
The temple priest told us that there is also a traverse to visit the Bhimashankar Caves, but the path is closed down so he asked us to travel via the Junnar Vadaj Road till we see the Bhimashankar Caves on the left on the hills. There are a brickyards there. 


Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

The photographs on this post are very striking.

K N Bhave said...

I liked the photographs and the comments.Many thanks.I am 82 years old and can not travel or hike, but my interest is satisfied by viewing these photos..... Kashinath Bhave, Mumbai

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