The Kanheri Caves

The Kanheri Caves in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, have a history that goes back in 1st AD, When Buddhists rocked out and used these caves as their residence.

Located in The Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Kanheri caves showcase the Buddhist art and culture from around 1st century to the 9th century. These caves are made of Basalt and constitute small tiny cells cut through in the edge of the hills.

Kanheri is a Sanskrit word which means Black. These caves were chosen by the Buddhists for their stay, meditation and study during their period. This is one of the proofs of the monk's existence. Each cave has a stone platform which was used as a bed in those times. It is said that there are around 109 such rock cut cells, which are carved on the mountain edges. There is a massive congregation hall which has huge, erect stone pillars and this hall contains the Stupa, a Buddhist shrine.

One also gets to see the old remains of the water system used during those times. There are remains of the canals that were used for canalizing the rain water into big tanks used for water storage.

Kanheri is an example of a perfectly organized Buddhist monk's establishment. Maximum numbers of these caves were declared as the monasteries and there were many inscriptions found in these caves which portray a vivid example of the rise and the fall of the Buddhism in India, back in centuries.

It was used as a university center during the Mauryan Empire. All the caves have been excavated in a single hill and thus exhibited the then established excellent craftsmanship.


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