Bhaja Buddhist Caves


Bhaja Caves, situated in the Aurangabad district, lie at a distance of 60 km from Pune. The caves are said to be as old as the 2nd century, i.e., the early Theravadin phase of Buddhism, when the Mauryans used to rule over India. The eighteen caves at Bhaja are dedicated to Lord Buddha and have been beautifully carved with His images. Some of the images represent Lord Buddha, in symbolic terms also, and some showcase the incidents surrounding His life. The carved images include that of the lotus or elephant, symbolizing his birth.

The pillars of these caves can be seen sloping downwards, some of them carved with figures of flowers and other images. The cave number 12th, a Chaitya hall, which is the largest of all has a fine stilted vault. The last cave towards the south illustrates the fine architecture and sculpture in ancient India. This cave includes the pictures of a dancing couple, a prince seated on an elephant and other images. Cave number 1, a dwelling house, and other 10 caves, which were viharas are master pieces of the architecture with a religious background.

Location info:

District: Aurangabad district
Nearest City:Lonavala
Best time to visit: October to March



The Bhaja caves, a group of 18 caves, is located 12 kilometers from Lonavla in Maharashtra. Built during the reign of the Mauryan rulers in the 2nd century BCE, these caves are fine illustrations from the early Theravadin phase of Buddhism.
The Bhaja caves are the perfect examples of the phase of early Buddhist architecture, belonging to the early Theravadin period. Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism has been represented through numerous symbols in these caves. However, the caves which were carved after the 4th century CE, also presents the Buddha in His physical forms.

There are a total of eighteen Bhaja caves. The twelfth cave is the biggest of all and consists of a prayer hall also. It has been adorned with ancient Buddhist architecture and a tilted vault.Bhaja caves also include a number of viharas within their complex and these are, today, being used as residence by Buddhist monks, who are receiving their education here. The other awe-inspiring features of the caves consist of beautiful stupas, which stand adorning their interiors as well as exteriors.

There are a number of figures in Bhaja Caves that symbolize Lord Buddha. They include a mound that symbolizes His death and a throne that reminds one, of the life He led as a prince. Located near the entrance of the caves is a temple dedicated to Goddess Ekvira. To the right of the temple is a towering pillar, with three lions at its top. In short, the woodwork-based architectural design of Bhaja Caves is definitely worth having a look at.


Interesting things to do:

Duke’s Nose:
Favourite among nature lovers, Duke’s Nose is also favouite spot for trekkers as its peculiar peak makes suitable trail for trekkers.

Karla Hills:
The Karla Hills are another joy for trekkers as its fine trekking terrain is worth to enjoy trekking, rock-climbing and hiking.

Interesting things to Visit:

Lakes of Lonavla:
Considered to be the lake district of Western India, Lonavla has many of lakes which are tourist fascination. Though all these lakes are artificial but many of its like Tungarli Lake, Valvan Lake, Lonavla Lake, Monsoon Lake, and Pawna Lake are very pleasant for nature viewing and spending leisure.

Forts of Lonavla:
Many of popular forts like Rajmachi Fort, Lohagad Fort, Tikona Fort, Tung Fort, Visapur Fort and Koregad Fort are located amidst the rich natural landscapes giving amazing exploration of historical insight of the province.

Bushy Dam:
This small dam is located 6 km from Lonavla, and is most famous picnic spot of Lonavla. During the monsoons on weekends, the dam is heavily crowded by picnic goers. Swimming is though restricted but bathing under the steps of dam that create a downfall is very pleasant experience.

Ryewood Park:
This large park similes a botanical garden, and is very spacious making favourite place for picnic goers. Close to the park there is an old Christian cemetery having some of the gravestones hundred years old.

Mobile range info:

How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station: Malavil, approximately 3 km from the Bhaja village.
Nearest Airport: Pune and Mumbai.
Road Transport: Bhaja from Lonavla, approximately 12 km from there.

Nearest Visiting places:

1.Karla caves.
2.Elephanta caves.
3.Ellora caves.
4.Ajanta caves.
5.Pithalkhora caves.
6.Kanheri caves.
7.Aurangabad Buddhist Caves .

Nearest Petrol Pump:

HPCL Petrol Bunk,Lonavala


Treasure Island Resort Mumbai-Pune Highway, Lonavla.
Hotel Rainbow Retreat Mumbai-Pune Highway, Lonavla.
Fariyas Holiday Resort Frichley Hills, Tungarli, Lonavla.
Bijis Hill Reatreat New Tungarli Road, Off Mumbai-Pune Highway Lonavla.

There are many hotels & Govt.guest houses that gives accommodation to every type of budget travellers.

Things to carry:

Tips & Suggestions:

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station: 100
Nearest Hospital: Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital is 2 km from Lonavala on the road to Karla and Bhaja caves.
Society/Community Phone Number