Exploring the Buddhist Roots: Famous Caves in Mumbai

Looking for an offbeat adventure in Mumbai? How about exploring the ancient caves that lie hidden within the bustling city? Mumbai is home to some of the most spectacular caves in India, each with a unique history and architecture. In this blog, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the best caves in Mumbai, so you can plan your next excursion and discover the fascinating history of this vibrant city. Let’s delve into the world of caves in Mumbai!

Mahakali Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Mahakali Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

Among the famous caves in Mumbai, Mahakali Caves is a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts. These ancient Buddhist caves, carved out of solid rock, showcase stunning carvings and intricate designs that are sure to leave you in awe. Explore the wonders of Mahakali Caves.

Popular for: There are seven depictions of the Buddha and other mythical beings in Buddhism.

How to get there: If you are somewhere in Mumbai, then you may catch a local train to get off at Andheri or Jogeshwari. 

Entry fee: 20 INR

Elephanta Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Elephanta Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

The Elephanta Caves are undoubtedly the most famous caves in Mumbai. Located on Elephanta Island, a short ferry ride away from the city, these ancient caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for anyone interested in Indian history and culture.

Popular for: A group of Shiva-related rock paintings.

How to get there: You can board a ferry in Navi Mumbai at Belapur Jetty or the Gateway of India. The harbour at Gateway of India is the more well-known one. 

Entry fee: 40 INR – 600 INR

Kanheri caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Kanheri caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

One of the most famous caves in Mumbai is the Kanheri Caves, a group of over 100 rock-cut monuments located within the lush forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. With intricate carvings, stunning architecture, and a rich history, the Kanheri Caves are a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Mumbai.

Popular for: Buddhist paintings, inscriptions, sculptures, and relief carvings 

How to get there: It is simple to go to the Caves from Mumbai’s western suburbs. At the Borivli Railway Station, you can get alight and board a bus to the destination. 

Entry fee: 15 INR – 200 INR

Karla Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Karla Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

Karla Caves are one of the most famous caves near Mumbai, located in Lonavala. These ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves boast of intricate carvings, impressive architecture, and breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. It’s a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

Popular for: Goddess Durga Temple 

How to get there: The best method is to either take a state transportation bus that travels often from Mumbai and Pune to Lonavala and from Lonavala to Karla, or to hire a taxi if you’re coming from Pune or Mumbai. 

Entry fee: 20 INR – 200 INR

Bhaja Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Bhaja Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

Bhaja Caves is one of the most famous caves near Mumbai and a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. Located near Lonavala, these ancient rock-cut caves showcase some of the most stunning examples of Buddhist architecture and art, making them a popular tourist attraction in Mumbai.

Popular for: they serve as indicators of interest in timber architecture. 

How to get there: The distance between Malavli station and the Bhaja caves is about 3 kilometres. A direct train from Mumbai to Lonavala is also an option. 

Entry fee: 5 INR

Bedse Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Bedse Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

Bedse Caves are one of the most famous caves in Mumbai, located in the Maval region of Maharashtra. Dating back to the 1st century BC, these caves are a perfect example of ancient Indian rock-cut architecture, with intricate carvings and stunning views. Explore the beauty of famous caves in Mumbai with Bedse Caves.

Popular for: Buddhist Architecture

How to get there: Mumbai to Bedse Caves is best reached by train through Kajrat, which takes 2 hours and 34 minutes. 

Entry fee: No fee

Pataleshwar Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Pataleshwar Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

Pataleshwar Caves are one of the most famous caves in Mumbai. Located in the heart of the city, these ancient rock-cut caves offer a glimpse into India’s rich history and architecture. Explore the intricate carvings and stunning rock formations of this remarkable site.

Popular for: devoted to Lord Shiva and Lord Pataleshwar, the Underwater God

How to get there: Since these caverns are in Pune, visitors must first go to Pune to access them.

Entry fee: No fee

Ajanta Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Ajanta Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

Ajanta Caves are the epitome of ancient Indian rock-cut architecture and are considered one of the most famous caves near Mumbai. These 30 rock-cut caves, adorned with Buddhist art, are located near Aurangabad and offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Maharashtra.

Popular for: ancient Buddhist rock-cut architecture.

How to get there: Since Aurangabad and Ajanta Caves are only 107 kilometres apart, you can choose between taking a taxi or a state-run bus to get there. 

Entry fee: 40 INR- 600 INR

Ellora Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Ellora Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

Ellora Caves, located near Mumbai, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its magnificent rock-cut temples and monasteries. The caves feature elaborate sculptures and carvings showcasing Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain art, and are considered one of the most impressive examples of ancient Indian architecture.

Popular for: bear signs of the Mahayana school of Buddhism 

How to get there: Buses and taxis are a convenient way to travel to Ellora Caves, which are just about 27 kilometres from Aurangabad city

Entry fee: 40 INR- 600 INR

Aurangabad Caves

Famous Caves near and in Mumbai - Aurangabad Caves
Plan your next adventure and visit these famous caves in Mumbai to experience the unique architecture, stunning carvings, and the stories behind their creation.

The Aurangabad Caves are a group of twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines located on a hill in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Although they are not actually located in Mumbai, they are still considered one of the famous caves near Mumbai region.

Popular for: Early Buddhist structures include viharas, or residential cells, and Buddhist shrines.

How to get there: You can go to Aurangabad through local and state buses, and from there, you can use local transportation to get to the Aurangabad Caves. 

Entry fee: 10 INR- 100 INR

Discover the wonders of ancient rock-cut architecture and spirituality by exploring the famous caves in Mumbai region. A journey that will take you back in time and leave you spellbound.

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