Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Karla, Bhaja & Bedsa caves- The Ancient Heritage sites in Lonavala!!

We look at Lonavala as a mere leisure location to visit and enjoy couple of peaceful days in the vicinity of nature’s marvels. We never think about the importance of this place in the bygone days, when it was a center of great heritage and ancient culture. So let us peep inside Lonavala’s past by knowing more about monuments located in its surroundings which are preserving its past and heritage. Incredible caves near the city are part of the splendid lonavala tourist attractions. 

        Karla Caves, Lonavala   
Standing witness to Major Buddhist influence in the region are the caves of Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa, which are nothing but ancient rock-cut Buddhist temples located beautifully inside lush greenery. Karla caves are located at karli village just eight km from Lonavala, are a complex of Buddhist rock-cut caves which date back to 160 BC. These caves can be reached by taking a taxi from Lonavala station. Buddhists people in that period were associated with commerce and trading hence this complex neighbors the age-old trade route of Asia. The caves were used as lodging to shelter the traders, who used to travel widely from one place to other. Caves of Karla are presently protected by government body, which is looking after its preservation. The main cave measuring forty five m is one of the largest rock-cut Chaityas in India, including a hall displaying wall mounted sculptures of men, women and animals like elephants and lions.

You can reach Bhaje village by taking an auto from Malavali railway station. It’s a wonderful location enriched with natural beauty and the exclusive Bhaja waterfalls, where you can spend a few hours. There are around twenty two rock cut caves located beautifully on a hilltop of Bhaja village of Maval Taluka. The complex consists of viharas, chaityas and podhis consisting of large hall, which embeds a stupa and twenty seven pillars in one line. There are many beautiful carvings inside the cave. 

Bedsa caves located on Mumbai Pune road are located near Khandala the neighboring hill station to Lonavala. Morning time is the best to visit these thousand year old caves located just fifteen km from Kamshet railway station at Bedsa village.  Popular for their art and architecture the pillars in the caves are beautifully adorned with images of lions and due to its strategic location sun rays enter the prayer hall.

Don’t forget to visit these historical marvels, which are visited by Thousands throughout the year. There are many options of staying including resorts in Lonavala and United-21 Retreat Lonavala is one of the latest places, where you can stay comfortably in the natural surroundings accompanied by host of modern facilities.