Karla Caves is a group of Buddhist rock-cut cave shrines located in Karli near Lonavala, in Maharastra state of India.
Karla Caves alias Karle Caves or Karla Cells, dates back to the 2nd century B.C. to 10th century A.D. The oldest cave shrine in Karla caves is believed to be made in the year 160 B.C. by Buddhist monks.
The caves at Karli also houses a Buddhist monastery, which dates back to the second century B.C. There used to be two 15-meter giant pillars in the monastery, out of which one was ruined and only one exists now. There is by temple dedicated to the goddess Ekveera, where the ruined pillar once existed.
The main feature of Karla Caves is their arched entrances and vaulted interiors. There is also an Ashokan pillar at the front entrance. Karla Cave interiors are lighted with a large number of openings, cut in the rocks.
The largest rock-cut prayer hall in India (chaitya), which is 45 meters in length and up to 14 meters in height, is found in Karla Caves. There are many other carved chaityas also in the rock complex. Many Viharas are also found in the complex, which was used as the dwelling place for the monks in those days.
How Do I Go to Karla Caves?
Karla Caves are situated at a distance of around 60 kilometers from Pune city, which is well connected to the rest of the country by road, rail and air. Pune railway station is the nearest railway station to the Karle Caves. There is an international airport at Pune, which is the nearest airport to the caves.