Caves are not merely the abodes of people living thousands of years ago. The discovery of caves has also led to an understanding of the world as it existed during those times and the cultural, social and religious practices of people that influenced the generations that followed them. Maharashtra has some of the most interesting cave sites in the country and the three that you must definitely visit are located at Bhaja, Bedse and Karla caves lonavala – known for their Buddhist affiliations.
The Karla Caves Lonavala are the largest cave temples (Chaitya) in India. These caves are located near hill resort of Lonavala. The Karla Caves are located at a distance of 12 Kms. from Lonavala. The Karla Caves are one of the important place of tourism attractions This is must visit Karla caves.
Karla is one of the most famous centres of early rock-cut architecture and has received much attention of scholars and commoners alike. The group of rock excavations is not that elaborate when compared to its counterparts at Ajanta and Ellora. However, the grand Chaitya griha of Karla is the grandest and the largest of all the chaita-grihas of India. The group at Karla consists of 16 rock cut excavations of which cave 8 is the chaityagriha which was caused during Satavahanas.
Karla Caves are very famous tourist destination because of their amazing architecture. Inscriptions and Stupas in the caves depict the ancient Buddhist architecture and culture. The early Buddhist school, Mahasamghika, is associated with these caves. Their popularity in this part of the region was wide-spread.
All around the cave complex, there are many chaityas and viharas. A Vihara is a place where the monks used to stay and meditate in the caves for a long period of time. Some sculptures of elephants dressed up well with metal jewelries placed there.
Karla Caves are rock-cut monuments from the Buddhist era dating two thousand years old. Location of the caves may have been of strategic importance since it was a major trade route during that era connecting the Arabian Sea and the Deccan region on the eastern end.