Kanheri Caves

Useful Information

Location: About 40 km north of Bombay, in the Krishnagiri Upavan National Park.
(19.207008, 72.904167)
Fee: Adults Rs 1.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:  
Address: Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400101, Tel: +91-1800-22-9930.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1st century BC oldest caves excavated.
1st century most caves excavated.
9th century last caves excavated.
1839 rediscovered by Dr. James Bird.


Protected by a dense jungle, these are a series of 109 Buddhist caves or monasteries in a rocky ravine where the monks practised their austerities. Unlike the artistic extravagance of Elephanta, they are spartan and bare. Each tiny cell cut into the flank of a hill, is fitted with a stone plinth that evidently served as a bed. Cave No 3 or the Great Chaitya Cave, is the most important, it is also a meeting hall, 38 m x 14 m x 14 m supported by huge stone pillars that contains the dagoba, a kind of Buddhist shrine. If you pick your way up the hill you will find channels and cisterns that are remnants of an ancient water system that channelled rainwater into huge urns. In fact, Kanheri probably provides the only clue to the rise and fall of Buddhism in Western India.

Text by Tony Oldham (2003). With kind permission.