Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kanheri Caves in the Ghandi National Forest

Beginning in the 1st century B.C. Buddhist monks worked on the excavation of the Kanheri Caves for over 1,000 years.  The grandest of these caves, the Chaityagriha has an inscription from the 2nd century.

This was the place of worship for the monks.

Two identical Buddha's flank either side of the caves entrance.

You pass between these Buddha's before entering the main chamber.

These caves are very different than the Elephanta Island caves that we visited previously, primarily in scale.  The caves at Elephanta Island are generally grander in scale, but there are many more caves at Kanheri,

and the caves at Kanheri also give a much better glimpse into the lives of the monks.  The monks excavated more than 100 caves during the 1,000 years that they inhabited this site.  With many of the caves being relatively modest dwellings, although quite a few of them have very elaborate carvings.

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