kanheri caves

kanheri caves INFORMATION

Kanheri Caves, situated within the sprawling expanse of Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali, Mumbai, is a complex of ancient rock-cut Buddhist caves. Dating back to the 1st century BCE, these caves served as an important center for Buddhist learning, meditation, and worship. The site comprises over 100 caves carved out of the basalt rock, showcasing remarkable architectural and artistic achievements of ancient India.

kanheri caves HISTORY & Architecture

The history of Kanheri Caves dates back over two millennia. Originally inhabited by Buddhist monks, the caves flourished as a prominent Buddhist center from around the 1st century BCE to the 10th century CE. The site attracted scholars, monks, and pilgrims from far and wide, contributing to its intellectual and spiritual vibrancy. Over the centuries, Kanheri Caves witnessed the rise and fall of various dynasties, including the Mauryas, Satavahanas, and later the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, each leaving their mark on the site’s cultural landscape.

The architecture of Kanheri Caves is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of ancient Indian artisans. The caves are primarily of two types: chaityas (prayer halls) and viharas (monastic cells). The chaityas feature intricately carved stupas, pillars, and rock-cut sculptures, while the viharas comprise living quarters, meditation cells, and communal areas. The rock-cut facades are adorned with elaborate carvings depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology, along with motifs of flora and fauna.

Facts about kanheri caves

  • Kanheri Caves is one of the oldest and largest cave complexes in India.
  • The word “Kanheri” is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word “Krishnagiri,” meaning black mountain, owing to the dark basalt rock formations in the area.
  • The caves served as a thriving center of Buddhist education, attracting scholars and monks from different parts of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Kanheri Caves are renowned for their water management system, which included rock-cut cisterns and channels to collect and channel rainwater for the use of inhabitants.

Things to Do at Kanheri Caves

  • Explore the intricate rock-cut architecture and sculptures within the caves.
  • Marvel at the ancient Buddhist stupas and carvings depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology.
  • Experience the serene and tranquil ambiance ideal for meditation and introspection.
  • Trek through the picturesque trails of Sanjay Gandhi National Park surrounding the caves.
  • Attend guided tours or informational sessions to learn more about the history and significance of Kanheri Caves.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Kanheri Caves is during the winter months, from November to February, when the weather is cool and pleasant, making exploration comfortable.

Avoid visiting during the monsoon season (June to September) as heavy rainfall may disrupt travel plans and make trekking trails slippery and unsafe.



Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is around 22 km away From Kanheri Caves Borivali Mumbai.


Borivali Railway Station is the nearest railway station, which is about 7 kms from Kanheri Caves Borivali.


Kanheri caves are located within Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali, which is well-connected by roads.



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