Karla and Bhaja Caves, Lonavala – The Architectural Wonders of India

The visit to Ekvira Devi Temple rejuvenated my mind and I was really thrilled to have the opportunity to worship Mata. More than that, I was quite carried away about the historical importance of the place which has temples and caves surrounding it. 

I had my next visit scheduled to Karla and Bhaja Caves in Lonavala. Since both these caves are situated at about 3 km apart, I thought of visiting the Karla Caves first. The trip to the Karli district was on the mountain until I reached the place, where I had to get down and trek to reach the cave. I was very curious to visit the historical places and was enthusiastic to see the cave complex. The place looked extremely marvelous as there were cave like formations, which looked like rooms on the mountain.

Bhaja Caves
Bhaja Caves | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

There was a main gallery built within the mountains and we entered the gallery to explore a line of pillars positioned on both the sides. In the center, there was a stupa, which was exquisitely carved. There were many sculptures depicting men and women and animals. This cave was interestingly housing Buddhist monastery, which is traced back to 2nd century BC.

From the Karla Caves, I traveled to Bhaja Caves, which is another rock-cut cave complex that can be traced back to again the 2nd century BC. Nevertheless, they are believed to be one of the most ancient Buddhist religious centers and are at the height of 400 feet above the Bhaja village.These caves have amazing architectural designs and are similar to those of Karla Caves. I was impressed by the ‘Chaityagriha’, which is a big shrine. The interesting thing about the temple is it has ‘horseshoe-arched entrance.

Chaityagruha at Bhaja Caves
Chaityagruha at Bhaja Caves | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

There were nave and aisle in the caves; there was a solid tupa. I carefully looked at the Buddha images. Other than these, there are inscriptions on the rock-cut sculptures, which had detailed headdress, and jewellery.

While climbing down the caves, I enjoyed the beautiful scenery from the top. The trip offered complete contentment because of the ancient architecture, which are still the marvels of Indian art.

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About Author :

"Hi there, my name is Lalit Chandran. I currently reside in ‘Pink city’ i.e. Jaipur where I run a garment export business. Having spent all my childhood in Rajasthan, I fell in love with Indian history and all its glory. So, whenever I get an opportunity, I travel to various places all across India exploring old cities, museums, forts and historic monuments. This blog will catalogue all the places I have visited, people I have met along the way and different cultures I got a chance to experience.

I am hoping sharing all my adventures will help raise awareness about our ancient heritage and maybe help preserve and protect these remnants  of India’s glorious past. Feel free to leave your comments. "

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