The 22 interconnected rock-cut caves known as the Bhaja caves are situated close to Lonavala in Pune, Maharashtra. Approximately 400 feet above Bhaja Village are these caves. It is situated on the main trade route that runs from the Arabian Sea to the Deccan. One essential aspect of these caves is the presence of stupas. The viharas and chaityagrihas are found in the caves.
The magnificent timber construction and horseshoe ceiling of the Chaityagriha are its greatest features. It even features a few outstanding Buddha pictures. These caves include pillared verandas with exquisite relief decoration on the viharas. The magnificent timber construction of these caves is what makes them so well-known. These caves have intriguing sculptures in them.
One of these carvings depicts two women dancing and one playing the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument.
These caves’ architectural layout is comparable to that of the Karla caves. These caves have intricate headdresses, jewels, and garlands on their statues. Originally bright and brilliant, these sculptures were subsequently plastered over.
History of the cave
The Bhaja Caves are an important example of rock-cut construction by the Buddhist faith in the Deccan, dating back about 2200 years. The name of the donor, Maharathi Kosikiputa Vihnudata, who lived in the second century A.D., is written on a cistern in these caves. There are two further inscriptions on a different wooden beam that belong to the second century B.C.
How to reach
The Karla Caves and the Bhaja Caves are 10 kilometres apart, and you may go that distance by car or on foot. From Lonavala, local buses travel to the Karla caves. The closest train station to these caves is Malavli. From Mumbai, passengers may take a train to Lonavala, from where they can catch a local train to Malavli. Pune has excellent connections to all of India’s main towns, and visitors may even take the train from Pune to Malavli. The closest airport to these caves is in Pune. Buses to the caves are available from the Pune airport.
Ideal time to visit
The months of October through March are the ideal times to visit the caves.
Activities to do in and around
Near the Bhaja Caves are a number of interesting sites, including the Karla Caves, Pavana Lake, Lohagad Fort, and Lions Point. Among the many attractions in the area are the Narayani Dham Temple, Lonavala Lake, Rajmachi Fort, Bhushi Dam, Tigers Leap, Bedse Lake, Bhushi Lake, Wet n Joy Water Park, Tungarli Lake, Tikona Fort, Korigad Fort, Kune Waterfalls, and many more.
The caves are accessible from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day.
For Indian visitors, the entrance ticket costs Rs. 5, whereas for international tourists, it costs Rs. 100 per person.