For a long time, i had wanted to check out the massive complex of Buddhist caves and viharas at Kanheri.
So as today, Aug 15 was a proper holiday for all on account of Independence day, we decided on a visit, with little preparation and little info on how to go about it.
Located 10 kms from Borivli E or 7 kms inside Borivali National Park from the Main gate (Rick minimum fare), Kanheri is a large complex of man made rock cut caves. After paying entry fees at the gates of the National Park you have two options walk it or use ur own vehicle(cgs extra) or the National park minibus bus which costs Rs 20 one way, which will take u right to the top where the caves are situated. If u walk it will take u a good 1.5/2 hrs minimum of a jungle walk.Id recommend taking the minivan for the up climb trip and walk it down and take in the sights scents and sounds of the jungle
The fees to enter the cave complex are Rs5 Locals or 2$ for foreigners. Ive been to plenty of Cave Complexes in and around Mumbai, but none as austere and massive as Kanheri.The site has 109 Buddhist caves cut by hand from the living rock of a 1500 feet high ravine in the 2nd to the 9th century A.D
Most Caves here are the Buddhist Viharas which were meant for residence, study, and meditation of monks. A few Chaityas containing rock-cut stupas , were prayer halls meant for group worship.They have an unglamorous feel to them, simple and austere places of mass habitation.It is interesting to observe how the ancients built their water system and aqua ducts to store water , a common feature at all caves like Verul, Bajaa, Karla etc. More interesting than the caves itself is the way the complex is structured and the magnificent view from top of the hillock, and the good trek possibilities in and around the area above the caves.
Best time to visit kanheri is on a week day when there is considerably less rush(carry water and food), between july and december.Be prepared to spend a whole day here if u really want to chk out the place, as the complex is massive.It is frequented by rock climbers, Couples, families and senior citizens.
Turn offs on weekends: Rowdy Jungly people , overpriced food and colas, plastic bags and bottles scattered around the road and lots of hutments in the park.
Yet to be added pics etc (too tired today)