Trip Ideas

The Ancient Kanheri Caves of Mumbai

The Kanheri Caves and its affiliated network of carved-out rock structures in Mumbai, India are one of the first Buddhist monastery encampments ever settled in India. The Kanheri Caves are believed to be well over 2,400 years old. Its origins likely go all the way back to the first century. Yes, as in the 1st century, B.C.E. Most historical evidence will point to the Kanheri Caves being constructed sometime within the first decade of the first millennium of humankind. At the very least.

The design

There are 109 cave-like constructs within the prehistoric complex in total. The caves feature rooms and living spaces carved out of volcanic, basaltic rock. The Kanheri Caves were a prehistoric Buddhist monastery with rooms for monks that are called, “viharas.” The caves also feature prayer halls, meditation rooms, and dwellings designed for study. The Kanheri Caves are located in Mumbai, India in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is also known as the Borivali National Park of Mumbai. Admission is only 30 Indian rupees, or $0.45, more or less. As an international tourist, you can’t beat a bargain like that to be a witness to ancient history.

Social media attention

Social media attention was recently called to the Kanheri Caves by a 5-person strong, architecture and archeology loving group of students who call themselves the Architails. The Architails organize and coordinate guided walking tours of the Kanheri Caves for visitors. You will learn about the history of the cave, how it was constructed and the functionality of the caves in reference to the monks who lived there so long ago. All the Architails ask of visitors is to not use the ancient Kanheri Cave complex as a picnic spot or rubbish pile.

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