5 Breathtaking Caves in Maharashtra that Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List
If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones and an ardent ancient architecture and culture fan, the next time you plan a visit to Maharashtra be sure to visit the 5 rock cut caves.
Image for representation.
Maharashtra indeed has it all! From chic clubs, picturesque hill stations, sugary beaches it also has some of the most beautiful rock caves which form a part of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones and an ardent ancient architecture and culture fan, the next time you plan a visit to Maharashtra be sure to visit the 5 rock cut caves on this list to witness, first-hand some of the ancient architectural wonders that at one point of time served as Chaitya Grihas (prayer rooms) or Viharas (monasteries) for Buddhist monks.
1. Bhaja Caves
Located in Pune, near Lonavala lie the Bhaja caves which are a group of 18 carved out caves near the beautiful Indrani river. The Bhaja caves have huge historical and cultural significance, one of the reasons for it being that the 12th cave served as a chaitya griha in ancient times.
2. Pitalakhora caves
Located about 2 hours away from Aurangabad, the Pitalakhora caves are situated in the Satamala range and are a group of 14 rock caves. Despite being 40kms away from the famous Ellora caves, the Pitalakhora caves’ beauty is unexplored and underappreciated owing to its isolated location, so it serves as an ideal location if you want to avoid the chaotic touristy.
3. Karla Caves
Located in Lonavala, the Karla caves is a group of 16 caves and is one of the most ancient in the area. The 8th cave amongst the 16 is iconic in itself as it was used as a space to offer prayers by Buddhist monks and is laden with stunning carved imagery of men, women and animals.
4. Ellora Caves
A drive of an hour from Aurangabad takes you to the renowned UNESCO World Heritage site of the Ellora caves, which is a blend of the 3 popular cultures in the world namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The pristine Ellora caves are a group of 34 caves which was built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty which was in existence between the 7th and 10th century AD. The cavern cave 16 of the Ellora caves houses a Kailasanath Temple which is the largest single monolithic man-made structure in the world.
5. Ajantha Caves
Located at a distance of approximately 105km from Aurangabad, serendipitously discovered in 1819, lies the Ajantha caves, which is a group of 30 rock cut caves and finds it place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Situated at the banks of the Waghora river, the caves are shaped like a horse shoe and has preserved some of the most beautiful paintings from ancient times which include the tales from Jataka, life of Buddha, etc.
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