Kanheri Caves in Mumbai

Kanheri Caves are a group of One hundred and nine caves have been chiseled out of a massive basaltic rock outcropping. Kanheri Caves are located at a distance of 6 kilometers from the main gate of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, to the north of Borivali, on the western outskirts of Mumbai city in Maharashtra state, India.

Kanheri Caves dates back to the period between 1st century BCE and 10th century CE. Kanheri was a well-known Buddhist settlement on the Konkan coast those days. There are 51 legible inscriptions and 26 epigraphs inside the caves. There is an unfinished paintings of Buddh inside the ceiling of the Cave number 34.

 Prayer hall with Stupa in cave 03 of Kanheri Caves Prayer hall with Stupa in cave 03 of Kanheri Caves

Each of the Kanheri Caves has a stone plinth for a bed. Most of these caves are Buddhist Viharas with shrine and stupa. These caves were used for meditation, studying and living. When these caves were converted into permanent Buddhist monasteries, the rocks were carved with intricate reliefs of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. There are canals and cisterns that were used to channel the rainwater into huge tanks inside the caves.

How Do I Go to Kanheri Caves?

Kanheri Caves are located at a distance of 7 kilometers from Borivali Station. The caves are situated inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park alias Borivali National Park (former name of the park). It is easily accessible from Mumbai city and lies at the northern tip of Western Mumbai. Borivali is at around 18 kilometers from Mumbai International Airport. BEST Buses,Trains, autos, taxis, etc, are available from anywhere in Mumbai to go to Borivali.

Bhaja Caves

Bhaja Caves

Bhaja Caves area group of 22 rock-cut Buddhist caves at Bhaja, near Lonavala in Maaharastra state of India. These caves dates back to the 2nd century BC. Bhaja is part of the ancient trade route connecting Arabian sea and the Deccan Plateau.

Bhaja CavesBhaja Caves

These Caves are also known as Bhaje caves. There are a number Buddhist Stupas (stupas are relics of Buddhist monks of those times), numbering 14, in the area. Five Stupas are inside the caves while the remaining 9 are outside the caves . The Bhaja Caves share their architectural design with the Karla Caves. These cave temples at Bhaja are protected as National Monuments by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Wooden Ceiling in Main Chaitygruha at Bhaja Caves

Wooden Ceiling in Main Chaitygruha at Bhaja Caves

Bhaja Cave XII is built in wooden architecture and there is a vaulted horseshoe ceiling. Cave XVIII has a verandah in front with many pillars. The carving in these caves depicts a woman playing tabla ( a very ancient Indian percussion instrument) and another woman, performing dance. There is a waterfall near the last cave.

How Do I Go to Bhaja Caves?

These Caves are near to Lonavala town in Maaharastra state of India and is easily accessible by road, train, flight, etc. There is a railway station with code LNL at Lonavala. Pune is the nearest MAJOR city with railway station and International airport.

Bir-Billing – Ecoturism and Paragliding Site

Bir-Billing, Two nearby village in Kangra district of Himachal Predesh state of India, is famous for its Community based Ecotourism, Aero-tourism and Spiritual activities.

Eco-Tourism activities at Bir village and surrounding areas are intended to preserve the ecology of the area and to support the livelihood of local people. Ecotourism Society of Himachal Pradesh, EcoSoC, is a Government supported agency working on this task.

International Paragliding Pre World Cup is held yearly at Bir-Billing for more than a decade. These nearby towns at 14 kilo meters distance, are said to be one of the finest Para Gliding and Aero sports sites in the world. Take off starts at Billing and landing is at Bir.

Bir Paragliding World Cup 2015 is to be held from October 24-31, 2015 at Bir-Billing, at a height of 2290 meters. The capacity of the Bir-Billing Para-gliding site is planned to be increased to 100 simultaneous para gliders from the present 30-40.

Fields and mountains near Bir Tibetan colonyFields and mountains near Bir-Tibetan colony

Bir town is a Buddhist town and is well known for its spiritual and meditation activities. There is also a Buddhist stupa here. Dharamshala, Central Tibetan Administration HQ is at around 50 kilo-meters from this town. Chowgan is the place where a Tibetan colony was established in 1966, on the outskirts of Bir town. There are several Buddhist monasteries at the south-western part of the Town at Chowgan.

How Do I Go to Bir Hill Station and Bir-Billing Paragliding site?

Gaggal airport in Himachal Pradesh is the nearest airport at around 150 kilometers distance. Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) at Delhi, is at around 550 kilometers distance form this town. Billing is at a distance of 14 kilometers from Bir town on your way to Thamsar Pass..

Ahju, a narrow gauge railway station on the Kangra Valley Railway route (on the 164 kilometer Pathankot – Joginder Nagar Narrow Guage Railway Line) is the nearest railway station to Bir town. “Pathankot Junction” with station code ‘PTK’, is the nearest major railway station, which is well connected to other parts of the country.

There are regular bus services from New Delhi to Baijnath, a town at around 30 kilometers distance from Bir town. You may hire a taxi or go by local buses from Baijnath.

Bir Road, off NH 20 connects Pathankot in Punjab state to Mandi in Himachal Pradesh state and is the nearest National Highway to Bir town.