The City of Mumbai has had many Hindu and Buddhist caves within its city limits. Mumbai as so many caves and some of them are yet getting discovered; it should be called as City of Caves.
The Popular one of these is the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recently Seven caves were discovered in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali, on the Northern fringes of the city.However, leaving those caves aside these are the oldest known and most famous Caves of Mumbai.
Yup, Elephanta Caves are not the only Caves in Mumbai.The ‘City of Caves has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in these caves.As the most lasting remnants of India’s treasured past, the caves in Mumbai, otherwise referred to as the commercial capital of the country, offers an abundant legacy of spiritual thought, faith plus the culture of the times. However, where, you may well ask, can Caves be found in the cheek-by-jowl congestion of Mumbai? Rest assured; there are many! However, it takes the spirit of an explorer to discover them, absorb the ambiance that continues to linger over the years, and wonder at the religious icons they are.
Belonging to a period much prior the Portuguese annexed the reins of associated with the city, you can find 175 such Caves in and around Mumbai. Elephanta, that is close to Mumbai and involves a thrilling boat ride within the ocean waters.
Now if you do decide to put the Mumbai caves on your tourism itinerary, the one basic thing you need to know is the starting point of this cave architecture. Moreover, as the historians will tell you, the first of such caves can be traced to Virar. Chronologically assigned to the Satavahana period and resembling open rooms excavated in rock and with or without water cisterns, they are simple and basic with no visual lineage of their sacred nature.
Some of the caves are on the outskirts of Mumbai but are well-connected by road. You can even take a ride on a local train and then hire an auto rickshaw or a taxi to reach the caves. The caves at Elephanta are reached by boat, the starting point for which is the Gateway of India.Mumbai should be called the City of Caves,it has 175 Caves!!! #OMG #Mumbai #AamchiMumbai #NomadicNirvanaClick To Tweet
1 . Kanheri Caves
The Kanheri Caves dates back to 1st century BC and are believed to be one of the oldest cave formations of the country.The Name ‘Kanheri’ originates from the Sanskrit term ‘Krishnagiri.’They are also known as the ‘Lungs of Mumbai,’ because this is the only place in the city with the maximum amount of greenery and consequently, much fresh air. The caves The Kanheri Caves are renowned for their natural Basalt formations, ancient Indian style architecture including the 109 special entrances to the caves.
2 . Elephanta Caves
The Elephanta Caves a UNESCO World Heritage were constructed about the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD.The Elephanta Caves is found on Elephanta Island also called as the Island of Gharapuri.The Tiny Island has Many Ancient Archaeological remains which are the only testimonies to its rich cultural past.The Primary cave was a Hindu place of worship until Portuguese rule began in 1534, and after that, the caves suffered severe damage.
3 . Jogeshwari Caves
The Jogeshwari Caves were built after the work of Ajanta Caves cames to a halt.Later some of the artisans from the Ajanta went to the West of Maharastra and the First Hindu Cave Temple, which is the Jogeshwari Caves was made.According to a Historian and Scholar Walter Spink, he caves dates back to 520 to 550 CE and is the Largest regarding the length.
4 . Mahakali Caves
The Mahakali Caves are carved out of a solid black basalt rock.They are a group of 19 rock-cut monuments built between 1st century BCE and 6th century CE.This Buddhist monastery is found in the eastern suburb of Andheri in the city of Mumbai. The monument consists of two groups of rock-cut caves – 4 caves more to the northwest and 15 caves more to the southeast. The Biggest Cave at Mahakali (Cave 9) has seven depictions of the Buddha.
Read More : Best Mumbai Street Food
5 . Mandapeshwar Caves
The Mandapeshwar Caves built approximately 1500 to 1600 years back within the 8th Century.It is a rock-cut shrine devoted to Shiva located near Mount Poinsur in Borivali,Mumbai.Initially, the caves were on the banks of the Dahisar River, but later the course of the river changed.
6. Magathane Caves
Magathane Caves is found about four miles towards the soutKanheri.It is a tiny hamlet that was carved during 6th century A.D. The Spot happens to be stated within the Kanheri cave inscriptions where a field from this village was presented to the monks.It is among the largest caves within the group. It is enclosed by long rock-cut benches on all its sides.
Magathane Caves is encroached, and I did not want to use the Picture.Sorry for Not Having the Image.I hope the Maharastra Tourism Does something to save these Beautiful Caves.