KANHERI CAVES

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» West India
» Maharashtra
Location: 42-km From Mumbai, Maharashtra
Houses: Colossal Buddhas More Than 20 Feet Tall, An 11-Headed Bodisattva And A Nagaraja



Buddhist caves at Kanheri are about 42-km away from Mumbai , situated on Salsette Island amidst wooded hills and valleys. These caves are an excellent work of architecture. According to the historians the caves were caved between 200 BC and 600 AD. Few sculptures excavated in these caves are amazing and beautiful.

In these Buddhist caves or monasteries, which are Spartan and bare, monks practised their austerities around the second century AD. The complex contains 109 caves cut by hand on the flank of a hill; each fitted with a stone plinth that evidently served as a bed.

One can also see a congregation hall supported by huge stone pillars that contains the 'Dagoba', a kind of Buddhist shrine. Kanheri dedicated to one of the world's great religions houses colossal Buddhas more than 20 feet tall, an 11-headed "Bodisattva" (Buddhist saint) and even a "Nagaraja", an ancient pre-Buddhist serpent king guarding the most famous Buddhist Chaitya hall.

Kanheri Caves in MaharashtraThe monks also constructed an elaborate drainage system to channel excess water during the monsoon. This water eventually finds its way into the neighbouring Vihar, Tulsi and Powai lakes, which in turn are responsible for much of Bombay's water supply. In fact, Kanheri is probably the only clue to the rise and fall of Buddhism in Western India.

HOW TO GET THERE

Rail: Kanheri is just 42-km from Mumbai . Tourists can take suburban trains from Churchgate, which will take them to Kanheri very quickly.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation is available at the various hotels in Mumbai.



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