Bhaja Caves near Lonavala in Maharashtra are the oldest example of rock cuts belonging to the 2nd century BC. These caves illustrate the times in the western india when they served as the monastic shelters at par with the world heritage caves of Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta.
The 22 caves temples here depict the earliest branch of Buddhism, Hinayana through its simple nature rock cuts. Bhaja Caves Tour allow the tourists to visit the basic simple architecture based on halls or plain viharas with adjoining cells that contain shelves placed as beds, chaityagrihas and many of the temples are fronted by open verandahs. Apart from this, the caves are also known for its impeccable wooden architecture and sculptures including prince in a chariot, three armed warriors and dancing couples. A number of stupas in open space also adorn Bhaja caves.
If tourists follow the main road, 3 km ahead to the caves during Bhaja Cave tour, they will definitely find the greener and quieter than at Karla Cave complex.
Location of Bhaja Cave Maharashtra
They are one of popular Buddhist caves in Maharashtra India located 12 km away from quiet surroundings of Lonavala in Pune.
Tourist Attractions Near Bhaja Caves, Maharashtra
These caves represent Lord Buddha in a symbolic structure, whereas others Buddhist branches showcase and illustrate the events that took place in lordís life through sculpture, carvings, etc. The caves, 18 in number, are beautifully sculptured with many images of different postures of Buddha, some animals and situations of some stories of the tales of Buddhism.
Cave 12th is a prayer hall, representing a fantastic specimen of ancient Buddhist architecture. The biggest of all the caves, Cave 12 also has a tilted vault that is noticeable. The last cave is also a must visit site during Bhaja tour, due to the presence of a rare "Dancing couple" sculpture.
As usual with cave culture, there are many Viharas or cave shelters in Bhaja which served as hostels for the learning Buddhist monks. There are stupas inside the cave complex that signify the Buddhist spiritual connect of the site in its antiquity.
Bhaja Cave - How to reach
Pune is the nearest airport at a distance of around 60 km from the Bhaja caves, while one can also opt for the Mumbai international / domestic airports.
Malavil is the nearest railway station, at a distance of 3 km from the Bhaja Caves village. Malavil is also the first stoppage in the Lonavla, Pune railway route.
The caves could be reached easily from Lonavla, which is 11 km from the Bhaja Caves.