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Karla Caves

 

Karla Caves are a complex of ancient Indian Buddhist rock-cut cave shrines located atop a hill in Karli near Lonavala which is about 60kms from Pune on the Pune-Mumbai highway. Karla Caves represent the highest achievement of Indian rock-cut architecture of the time and are one of the earliest examples of ornate and richly decorated rock-cut temples in India.

To reach the karla cave one have to climb around 500 odd stairs. The major attraction of the cave is the huge hall at the entrance. Inside the cave, there is a temple dedicated to the goddess Ekveera, who is worshipped most notably by the Koli community of Mumbai.

The caves house a Buddhist monastery dating back to the 2nd century BC which was once home to two 15-meter grand pillars, but now only one of these remains.

Now the cave complex is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India and there is a small entry fee.


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