Panhalakaji Caves are situated in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra state, about 160 km south of Mumbai.
The Panhalakaji Caves are a group of 29 caves that have been preserved for many centuries, standing tall and proud on the confluence of the Kotjai and Dhakti rivers. The construction and carvings of these caves started way back in the 2nd or the 3rd century, and continued for many centuries to come. Talk about patience and dedication!
The technical Vajrayana sect of the docks were dug from around the 8th to the 11th century. Proof of this has been unearthed later, making it a fascinating archaeological find.
What’s unique about this man-made wonder is that it showcases a fusion of different sects and religions. You can find sculptures from Hinayan, Buddhist, Ganpateya, and Nath sects.
You can also find idols of Lord Ganesh, Shiva, and even the goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati.
With a total of 29 caves, it would take you around 1.5-2 hours to see all the wonderful sculptures in each of these caves. But trust me, it’s worth every minute spent here. The Panhalakaji Caves have a very calm and elegant vibe, making it a perfect place to unwind and have an otherworldly experience.
The architecture and attractions of these caves are breathtaking. Cave 10 of the Panhalakaji Caves is the most spectacular, showcasing the image of Maha-Chandraroshana. Cave 14 depicts the deity of Nath Pantha, while Cave 19 has a Shivlinga with Hindu scriptures on its ceiling. It’s like a museum of religious artifacts!
The inscriptions in these caves are written in both Brahmi and Devanagari script. Brahmi script is one of the oldest writing systems used in the Indian subcontinent, while Devanagari script is an alphabet used in India and Nepal.
To get to the Panhalakaji Caves, the nearest rail stations are Khed and Ratnagiri. The NH4 highway near Dapoli is the nearest stop to the caves. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and let’s go on an adventure to the Panhalakaji Caves!