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Pohale Caves, also Pohala Caves or Pawala Caves, are a group of Buddhist caves located in Kolhapur District, Maharashtra.

If you’re looking for a hidden gem that’s off the beaten track, then you’ve come to the right place.

These caves are located around 15km northeast of Kolhapur, so it’s not too far from the city. Once you get there, you’ll find that the caves are rather plain, but that’s part of their charm. They were excavated in a rocky area near Jyotiba’s hill, and the whole place has a very ancient feel to it. You’ll find one large vihara, which is about 34 square feet and has 14 columns on three sides, as well as 22 cells around the central hall. And there’s even a Chaitya and one more cave with a raised rock-cut seat for a teacher, complete with a water cistern.

The whole structure seems like it was made for meditation, with its small rooms and big central hall. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot the Shiv Linga in one of the caves. The place is very neat and clean, so please, let’s all do our part and keep it that way.

Now, if you’re planning on visiting, the best season to come is in the spring. And if you’re coming by bike, you can take it right up to the place. But if you’re in a car, you’ll need to walk about 200-300 meters to reach the caves. And let me just warn you, there’s a man who pretends to be the guard, but he’s not wearing any uniform or ID. So, take everything he says with a grain of salt.

Inside the caves, there are two main sections. One of them is said to have been the school, and the other was the chapel or Chaitya. There are even two rock-cut water cisterns that are still in use.

The caves are carved in five sections in a half-round shape and have a well-decorated roof. In the middle of two rooms, there’s a seat that’s 12 feet high, and a Shivalinga and Nandi were recently placed in the innermost room. Outside the meditation room, there’s a veranda that’s 35 x 4 x 9 feet. And the central hall is 35 x 32 x 9 feet, with a flat roof that balances on three lines of pillars. There are even some small rooms around the central hall that were used for personal meditation.

One of the coolest things you’ll find here is a stone pillar that was found in the central hall during a recent excavation. It has a moon, sun, and horse on it, and it’s definitely worth checking out. There are even leftover carvings that are still in the primary stages, so you can really get a sense of the craftsmanship that went into these caves.

So, what are you waiting for? These caves are seriously underrated and have a ton of potential for tourism. Let’s all do our part to spread the word and make sure that they get the attention they deserve.

Popularity Rating

Parking Difficulty : High
Walking Needed : For 100 meters
Time Needed : 2-3 Hours
Open Timings : 6.00 AM to 5.00 PM
Still Photography : Allowed
Video Photography : Allowed
Cooler Climate for most part of the year.
Carry Umbrella
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Wear Cotton Dress with pullovers
Carry Binoculars
Nearest Railway Station : Kolhapur Railway Station
Nearest Airport : Kolhapur Airport
Nearest National Highway : NH48 and 166
Nearest Landmark : Pohale Ghat

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