If you’re planning to explore the hidden gems of India, then the Kuda Caves is a must-visit!
Tucked away in the small village of Kuda, on the eastern side of the north shore of Murud-Janjira in south Konkan, these fifteen Buddhist caves are a simple yet captivating wonder.
The caves were excavated in the first century B.C. and boast several reliefs of the Buddha, carved with symbols of lotus, wheel and Nagas. And, if that’s not enough to impress you, the Buddhist branch of the Mahayana took over the caves in the 5th/6th century and added their own sculptures!
The first cave greets you with ancient writing on its wall, while the sixth cave entrance is adorned with elephants, making it the perfect photo-op. As you venture further into the caves, you’ll find thirty inscriptions that describe donations made by lay Buddhists, as well as Buddhist monks. Talk about being a generous bunch! From iron mongers to bankers, writers to physicians, and even flower vendors and ministers, everyone chipped in.
It’s hard to believe that these caves weren’t famous for many years, especially considering they’re included in select Buddhist caves from the third century. But, let’s face it, it’s not easy getting here. You’ll have to cross the Gulf of Rajapuri, which can be quite the adventure!
Located just 24 km from Roha station of Konkan Railway, Kuda is a village at a distance. It’s most convenient to visit with a passenger vehicle or your own vehicle. .
As you make your way to the caves, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure. The verandah of Chaitya is simply breathtaking, and it’s hard not to get lost in the intricate carvings and paintings on the inner walls. Plus, there’s a stupa of Lord Buddha that you won’t want to miss.
It’s no surprise that the Kuda Caves are likened to other famous Buddhist caves like Ajanta-Ellora and Karla. So, if you’re looking for a unique adventure that’s sure to take you off the beaten path, then Kuda Caves should definitely be on your list! Just make sure to pack some snacks for the journey, and brace yourself for a bumpy ride across the Gulf of Rajapuri.