The Kanheri Caves, or Kanheri Gufa, are a set of 109 caves located in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Featuring carvings and rock-cut monuments whose history can be traced as far back as the first century, the Kanheri Caves are nothing short of a marvel. These Caves are situated on a basalt outcrop in the woods of the famous Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Originally part of the island of Salsette in Mumbai, these caves are now part of the modern suburb of Borivali in the city.
The Kanheri Caves are of particular significance to Buddhism and people who follow the religion. These caves contain relics associated with the religion, including paintings, sculptures, rock carvings and inscriptions, spanning a millennium (from 1st century CE to 10th century CE).
Some of the caves, particularly the older ones, are relatively less intricate than others. The caves carved in the middle and end of the first millennium are, however, quite striking. Each cave is situated on a stone plinth that serves as its base. There is a congregation hall in the Kanheri Caves, which is home to a Buddhist Stupa.
Through the course of their long and rich history, the Kanheri Caves were converted into Buddhist monasteries. As such, their walls bear markings from the tales and lessons of the Bodhisattvas. Not only are the Kanheri Caves an aesthetic masterpiece, but they are also well designed and once served as a functional home to people. The caves feature a water collection system, which was used to direct rainwater into huge cisterns, which then supplied water to the residents of the caves.
The Kanheri Caves are open to visitors on all days of the week barring Mondays, from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM.