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Kanheri Caves & Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Kanheri Caves

kanheri cave

Kanheri caves, perhaps, are the most easily reachable among all caves, and also the lonely one in the midst of a national park in India. The 109 caves are reachable through the Sanjay Gandhi national park, a good way to reach a religious destination. The place is splendid, considering the integration of lush greens and rare artistic examples, but is surprising to learn that once it was a thriving trade route, and home to a Buddhist university, well known to the world. Majority of the caves are monasteries, intended for living, study and meditation. All of them have elaborately carved sculptures, relief’s and pillars and encompass rock-cut stupas for worship.

The Buddhist pilgrim's progress ends not far from the Borivali railway station, but more interestingly, for most, it is just a beginning of another journey, spiritual and deeply religious.

Location : The Kanheri caves are located 40 kms from Mumbai and 10 km away from Borivali, and in the midst of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Maharashtra.

The caves are always beautiful, but the most exquisite piece of artistic example lies at the top, where fantastic sculptures of goddess Tara and Goddess Bhrukti with the central structure of Avalokiteswara, with five symbols each in the right and the left is housed.

The caves are considered to be in use during the period of 1st century BC to 9th century AD, primarily Buddhist monks, and some of the traders who travelled from the nearby places for religious favors. However, the most appealing is the Chaitya cave, built sometime during the 4th to 5th Century AD, with signs of decorative woodwork on the roof still present, is definitely a big draw for the tourists.

There are many sculptured statues of Buddha, on the outer sides of the wall, mainly in the Avalokiteswara incarnation. There are differences in the artistic representation, when contrasted with one another, may be due to the difference of time when they were built.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Konkan-Coast Konkan-Coast Konkan-Coast

Sanjay Gandhi National Park, also known as Borivali National Park is located in Borivali, suburb of Mumbai. The main attraction of the park is its lion and tiger safari. One of the main attractions to the National Park is the lion safari, which has been drawing people to the park ever since it was started. The twelve-hectare Lion Safari Park with crisscrossed roads, offer close encounter with the majestic king, from special buses. There are about 25 lions and six tigers, including 2 white Indian tigers in the park.

The lion safari is done on a 12-hectare area, while tiger safari on 20 hectares. Thick dense forest covers the area, with different types of tress like teak, bamboo, ain, khair, kusum and others.

The area was developed keeping in mind the natural habitats and habits of tigers, with ample tall grass, lakes, ponds and islands. A 5 m high and 2,200 meter long protective fencing surrounds the area. Special cages have been made for tigers for having meals and sleeping at night. Two watch towers have been provided for the safety of the tourists.

Nearest airport is Santa Cruz, which is at a distance of 16 km for domestic air travel; nearest railway station is at a distance of 40 km in Mumabi.

Sanctuary Timings: 9.00 am to 5.30 pm
Safari Timings: Morning session: 9.00 am to 1.00 pm
Evening session: 2.20 pm to 5.20 pm