Karla Caves are a complex of ancient Buddhist Indian rock-cut caves at Karli near Lonavala, Maharashtra.irstly, the caves are not just empty spaces underground, but natural formations that have been weathered over time by huge rocks. And yes, they are spacious enough for humans to enter.
These ancient caves were built between the 2nd century BC and the 10th century AD, and have a mixed style of Hindu and Buddhist rock carvings.
Now, you might be wondering, how did they manage to build these caves so long ago without modern technology? Well, my friend, that’s a question that will surely make you scratch your head. But hey, that’s what makes these caves so special, right?
Inside the caves, you’ll find a massive prayer hall that is beautifully carved in rock. It’s hard not to be awed by the sheer size and magnificence of it all. And did I mention the windows cut in the stone that let in natural light? It’s like nature’s version of electricity!
As you walk through the caves, you’ll feel the history and craftsmanship that went into building them over such a long period. But wait, there’s more! The location of Karli marks the division of North and South India. How cool is that?
The Karla Caves are also connected with an early Buddhist school called ‘Mahasamghika.’ Monks used to worship and preach here, and the walls of the caves are adorned with intricate carvings and inscriptions depicting Buddhist ideology.
One of the main attractions inside the caves is the stupa, which is a cylindrical drum rising in two stages and further supporting a cubical ‘harmika’ and a seven-step square-base pyramid. It’s massive and absolutely stunning!
And if you’re a fan of sculptures, then you’re in for a treat! The halls are decorated with sculptures of males, females, and animals, including a preaching Buddha seated on a lion-supported throne that exhibits spectacular carvings of three elephants.
Oh, and before I forget, there’s a temple dedicated to the Goddess Ekvira at the entrance of the cave.
In conclusion, the Karla Caves are an absolute must-visit if you’re in Lonavala. You’ll be amazed by the craftsmanship, history, and natural beauty of the caves.