History behind the Karla Caves

26 Aug

Karla Caves are one of the ancient caves in Lonavala of Maharashtra that follows the mixed Indian and Buddhists style of rock-carved caves architecture. These caves are some of the largest rock-cut Buddhist shrines in India. These ancient Buddhist shrines were developed during two periods. The first period between 2nd century BC and 2nd century AD and second period between 5th century AD to the 10th century.


Hall inside the Karla Caves

Karla Caves are very famous tourist destination because of their amazing architecture. Inscriptions and Stupas in the caves depict the ancient Buddhist architecture and culture. The early Buddhist school, Mahasamghika, is associated with these caves. Their popularity in this part of the region was wide-spread.


Karla Caves by Himanshu Sarpotdar on

The main cave consists of a chaitya hall that has 37 octagonal pillars and a base of water jar. The hall has many beautifully decorated sculptures of men, women and animals. The most important feature of this facade is that it is made out of teak wood. The access to the city hall is embellished with a horseshoe-shaped arch. There is an Ashoka pillar at the front side with a closed stone façade and Tirana in between them. There are large windows carved-out on the walls of the caves for lighting purpose.


Karla Caves by Himanshu Sarpotdar on

All around the cave complex, there are many chaityas and viharas. A Vihara is a place where the monks used to stay and meditate in the caves for a long period of time. Some sculptures of elephants dressed up well with metal jewelries placed there.


Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Caves, Maharashtra Heritage Sites



25 responses to “History behind the Karla Caves

  1. Satyender S Dhull

    August 26, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Interesting. Never knew about such a place so close to Bombay. Look forward to visiting it someday.

  2. Tina Schell

    August 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Incredible! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Carver

    August 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Interesting post and very good shots.

  4. Marisol@TravelingSolemates

    August 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Swati, this is the first time I have heard of Karla Cave. I’m fascinated with places with ancient Buddhist history and this one is pretty amazing. The Hall looks very well preserved. The first photo looks very stunning. Thanks for something new I learned today.

  5. greenmackenzie

    August 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    What an incredible and fascinating looking place. Thanks for sharing it with us πŸ™‚

  6. My Say

    August 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Even I was unaware of the Karla caves ! thanks for sharing this Swati πŸ™‚ a must go when around Mumbai Pune belt

  7. magiceye

    August 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Beautiful captures

  8. Garden Walk Garden Talk

    August 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    What an amazing place. It took a lot of man power to create this masterpiece, joining man’s creativity, his spirituality and outdoor nature.

  9. Dilip

    August 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Beautiful! Thanks πŸ™‚

  10. rekha

    August 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Had visited Karla caves but didn’t get a chance to get in coz we reached after hours.. anyways it was good fun…

  11. Buntag-Photo

    August 28, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Nice first image. Reminded me of Khazad-dΓ»m.

  12. R.Ramakrishnan

    August 28, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Incredible & magnificent. architecture !

  13. Sonel

    August 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    It’s so beautiful there! Great shots and thanks for sharing. πŸ˜€

  14. Swati Singh

    August 29, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Thank you all for such great comments πŸ˜€

  15. Kavita Joshi

    August 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Very interesting post really…loved reading it..thanks for sharing dear

  16. laurenmokasdar

    August 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Magnificent!!! x

  17. frizztext

    September 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

    how they worked the sculptures out off the massive stone!

  18. fgassette

    September 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

  19. Agenzia Viaggiare India

    September 10, 2013 at 6:30 am

    An awesome blog, India has many incredible and historical sites which are of great significance. Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative post and the pictures are really awesome.

  20. maureenjenner

    September 13, 2013 at 8:28 am

    When humans channel their attention to art, what amazing results are obtained. So much more rewarding than the destruction inflicted by anger. These wonderful rock carvings are monuments worth preserving for posterity. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Vikram Singh

    December 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Visited Karla today – it was a delight. you can feel history around you, and it is also a 20 min walk up the stairs. hidden gem. imagine capturing the specifications (and the feel) of the 4 lion pillar (similar to sarnath) in the days when there were no cameras.

  22. hitandrun1964

    January 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm


  23. Ankush bote

    February 1, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Its ammazing to see very nice place to visit ones in life

  24. Ajay Jagtap

    November 17, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Really its a nice place and even goddess Ekveera full-fill the wishes.


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