Kanheri Caves

Kanheri Caves

Infobox Cave
name =Kanheri Caves
photo = Kanheri-cave-90.jpg
caption = The Vihara in the cave
location = Borivili, Mumbai
depth =
length =
coordinates =coord|19.206496|N|72.906432|E|type:landmark_region:IN-MH|display=inline,title
survey =
survey electronic format =
discovery =
geology = Basalt
number of entrances = 109
list of entrances =
difficulty = easy
hazards =
access =
translation =
language =
pronunciation =

The Kanheri Caves are located north of Borivli on the western outskirts of Mumbai, India, deep within the green forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. "Kanheri" comes from the Sanskrit word "Krishnagiri" generally meaning black in colour.cite web
title=Kanheri Caves
] They were chiseled out of a massive basaltic rock outcropping. [cite web
title=Mumbai's Ancient Kanheri Caves


These caves date from 1st century BCE to 9th century CE The earliest are 109 tiny rock-cut cells, carved into the side of a hill. Unlike the elegant splendor of Elephanta Caves nearby, these are spartan and unadorned. Each cave has a stone plinth for a bed. A congregation hall with huge stone pillars contains the stupa, a Buddhist shrine. Farther up the hill are the remains of an ancient water system, canals and cisterns that collected and channeled the rainwater into huge tanks. [cite web
title=Mumbai attractions
] Once the caves became permanent monasteries, they began to be carved out of the rock with intricate reliefs of Buddha and the Bodhisattvas carved into the walls. Kanheri had become an important Buddhist settlement on the Konkan coast by the 3rd century A.D. [cite web
title=Kanheri Caves Mumbai

Most of the caves are the Buddhist viharas meant for living, study, and meditation. The larger caves were chaityas, or halls for congregational worship, are lined with intricately carved Buddhist sculptures, reliefs and pillars, and contain rock-cut stupas for congregational worship. The Avalokiteshwara is the most distinctive figure. One hundred inscriptions carved in Brahmi, Devanagari and Pahlavi [cite journal |last=West |first=E.W. |year=1880 |title=The Pahlavi Inscriptions at Kaṇheri |journal=The Indian Antiquary |volume=9 |pages=265–268 ] scripts have been found. The large number of viharas obviously prove a well-organized existence of Buddhist monks' establishment, which was also connected with many trade centers such as the ports of Sopara, Kalyan, Nasik, Paithan and Ujjain. Kanheri was a University center by the time the area was under the rule of the Maurayan and Kushan empires. [cite web
title=Kanheri Caves

How to get there

Kanheri caves is located deep inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park which is in Borivli East. Once you get there, you need to pay a certain entry fee at the gate. The caves are quite a distance away from the entrance, about convert|5|km|mi|0. Transport by bus to the caves is available every hour.

ee also

*Indian rock-cut architecture
*List of India cave temples


External links

* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/himanshu_sarpotdar/sets/72157600124845223 Kanheri Caves Photos from Himanshu Sarpotdar]
* [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040125/spectrum/travel.htm Pay dirt: Treasure amidst Mumbai’s trash]
* [http://www.mumbai.org.uk/kanheri-caves.html Kanheri Caves Mumbai]
* [http://www.bhramanti.com/kanheri.html Kanheri Caves]
* [http://www.bhramanti.com/locaves.gifMap of cave locations]
* [http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?menu=c10400&no=326138&rel_no=1 Mumbai's Ancient Kanheri Caves]
* [http://www.cave-biology.org cave-biology.org] Cave biology (biospeleology) in India.

* [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060402/spectrum/main2.htm Threat to caves of Bombay]
* [http://www.veoh.com/videos/v7071978efhj2aF6 Kanheri Caves Decoded is an online documentary video]

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