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Junnar Caves : Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves in Junnar in Maharashtra

Monday, October 24, 2016

Junnar 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 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. 

Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves

 As we didn't explore Shivneri Caves at Shivneri Fort, we headed out to see Lenyadri Caves. 

The directions to the caves are tagged on google maps. Plus you can ask the locals for directions.

History of Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves
The are plenty of options to eat and stay at the base of the Lenyadri Caves. Car park option is also available.

As there is a Ganesh temple in the caves,  there are shops at  the base selling articles of worship, sweets and cold drinks. 

Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves in the hills

A series of zig zag steps leads to the top of the caves, something similar to Bedse and Karla Caves in Lonavala. 

But climbing the steps will test your leg muscles. LOL. 

Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves

There is an entry fee to visit the caves. i.e. Rs.15 per person. The cave is open from 6 AM to 9 PM. Entry fee is applicable from 8AM to 6 PM. 

There are plenty of devotees who flock  the Ganesh Temple. 

Lenyadri Caves offers a wonderful view of the surroundings. 

Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves

The best among st the caves is converted into a temple. Ganesh Temple. One has to park footwear outside to visit the caves. As we were not in favor of removing our footwear, we didn't visit the temple.

As we were exploring the caves we were confronted by a troop of monkeys. We decided to stand still. Manohar asked me not to make any eye contact with the monkeys. Finally after they left we went ahead to see the remaining caves. 

View from Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves

There are plenty of other caves around. But they are not in very good condition. But they can be accessed. The access to the caves on the far end is difficult, but don't be disheartened, work is being carried out so that all the caves can be easily accessed. the laborers informed us that they are going to built a stone pathway and a stoned wall as a boundary. Not sure how much time it will take.

Stupa at Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves

We started our return journey at 5:50 PM in the evening. Thanks to Manohar for driving on the highway in the night to reach us safe and sound at 11:15 PM at Ghatkopar. Ashish and me were right in time to board the last metro train to Versova. 
Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves

This trip was initially supposed to be a 2 day trip. As we had the car and the caves were close by we managed to wind up in a day's time. Had we gone by public transport, it would have taken us around 2 to 3 days to cover all the caves.
Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves

The total cost inclusive of (fuel and refreshments) was Rs.630 per head.

Keep reading my blogs for more travel offbeat travel destinations. 
That's Me at Lenyadri Caves aka Ganesh Caves


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