KARLA CAVES - Amazing Maharashtra


Karla Caves
Karla Caves
Around Malavli Station and 10 kilometers beyond Lonavala are the three sets of caves, Karla, Bhaje and Bedsa. Picturesquely situated, they are full of an abiding historical interest and deserve greater attention from the public, not only for the picnics, but also for study.  A fairly stiff climb of little more than a kilometer brings the visitor to the site of Karla Caves, the largest Chaitya caves in India, dating back to 160 B.C.

The most unique feature is its principal temple, which resembles a miniature cathedral.  What is astonishing within it are its wooden arches which have lived through the ages without being eaten away. They have been considered to be the only example of the kind where woodwork in a temple has not decayed and has come down to us in its original condition over a period of 2 millennium and more.

The Karla temple is 124 feet deep, 45 feet broad and 48 feet in height. At the entrance of the temple there is a huge colonnade with no fewer than sixteen sides to it. Its top is crowned by four lions looking imperiously at each of the four sides, north, east, south and west as if keeping guard over the precincts of the temple. The sight makes you pause before entering the mighty rock temple.

About a couple of feet away from the walls of the cave temple, there is a row of columns, fifteen on each side, surmounted by elephants in a sitting posture with human figures on each of them. At the far end of the temple, there is a 'Stupa' a huge circular mound. The distinguishing feature of the Stupa is an umbrella erected on top of it. The temple appears to have been dedicated to Lord Shiva. Outside, to the left of the temple, there is a more recent structure which serves as a modern temple. Flanking both sides of the main temple, there are 'Viharas' - large halls cut from the rock - and cells. Some of them are one or two Storeyed, the way up lying through dark, narrow high stepped staircases. There are also several cisterns or shallow wells.

The view from the height of Karla is panoramic. Picnic spots abound on this beautiful little hill.

MTDC has a rest house nearby where water sports facilities are provided.

MTDC Karla # 02114-282230 / 282064 / 282102
[Group Accommodation - for 10 Persons - Rs.4500/-]

How to reach Karla Caves
Nearest Railway Station : Lonavala Railway Station
Nearest Airport : Pune Airport (Code : PNQ)

Distance (By Road)
Pune Airport to Karla Caves - 65 Kilometers
Lonavala Station to Karla Caves - 12 Kilometers

Photo Gallery

Karla Caves Lonavala PuneKarla Caves Lonavala Pune

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