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Kanheri Caves

Kanheri Caves go back to approximately 1st century BC - 9th century AD and are nearly 109 in number. The Kanheri Caves are located at a distance of roughly 10 km from Borivali at Mumbai in the core of Sanjay Gandhi Park in Maharashtra. The word Kanheri comes from the Sanskrit word Krishnagiri which denotes ‘black in color’. The Buddhist monks here as well as the traders utilized these caves when they traveled for religious and spiritual favors recurrently. This Buddhist pilgrimage site in Maharashtra denotes a golden commencement and the end of Buddhism in northern India. These caves are cut out and chiseled out of a big basaltic rock.

At the crown of the cave, beautiful sculptures of goddess Bhrukti and goddess Tara are placed. The central and fundamental structure is that of the Avalokiteswara, with five symbols in the left as well as right. In addition the Chatiya Cave is another chief and important attraction here in this Buddhist pilgrimage site which goes back to the 4th century AD - the 5th century AD. Here, the outer sides of the wall of the caves are beautified with the sculptures of Buddha, chiefly the Avalokiteswara incarnation. The roof of the caves is decorated with glorious woodwork. By the 3rd century AD, Kanheri became a significant Buddhist settlement on the Konkan coast, making it an important mark on Buddhism in India.

A number of these caves of this Buddhist pilgrimage site are meant and used for meditation, living and study. For worship, the chaityas or larger caves are used, which are adorned with carefully carved Buddhist sculptures, pillars and rock cut stupas. Numerous viharas tell us about the existence of well thought out Buddhist monk’s institution which are related and associated with many other trade centers like the ports of Kalyan, Sopara, Paithan, Nasik and Ujjain.