Marvels of India…Pandavleni Caves , ..Nashik
The name of the caves originates from the legendary Pandavas.
They are also known as Pandavleni Caves, are a group of 24 – 30, 1200-year-old Buddhist caves.These were built by various Buddhist kings as homes for the saints.Most of the caves are Viharas (like prayer halls as can be seen in the pic)except for the 18th cave which is a Chaitya (with a stupa)The location of the caves is a holy Buddhist site It is located about 8 km south of Nashik,Maharashtra.
The caves were carved out from the 4th century BC till 12th century CE as abodes for the idols of the local kings. The caves lodge idols of Buddha and Bodhisatva and the icons of JainTirthankarRishabh, Veer Manibhadraji and Ambikadevi
It originally meant “a secluded place in which to walk”, and referred to “dwellings” or “refuges” used by wandering monks during the rainy season.
Bihar derives its name from the word “vihara”, probably due to the abundance of Buddhist monasteries in that area.
Inscriptions in caves 3,11,12,13,14,15,19 & 20 are legible. Cave 15 – ‘Sri Yajna Vihar’ inscription mentions Sri Yajna Satkarni, the last Satvahan King who ruled over the western Maharashtra. Similar inscription in cave 3 at Kanheri. This means probably the cave was carved during the beginning of 3rd century A.D. Other inscriptions note the names Bhattapalika, Gautamiputra Satkarni, Vashishthiputra Pulumavi of the Satvahanas and two of the Kshatrapas, Dakshamitra and Ushavadant. Cave 10 – ‘Nahapan Vihar’ is spacious with 16 rooms. During the llth century, Jain influence, idols of Tirthankar Vrushabhadev, Veer Manibhadra and Devi Ambika were installed. Idols of Buddha and Bodhisatva are locally identified as those of Yudhishthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul, Sahadev, Shrikrishna, Karna and hence the local name PandavLeni.
The caves were carved out in the 1st and 2nd century as abodes for the idols of the Jain kings. The caves lodge idols of Buddha and Bodhisatva and the icons of Jain Teerthankara Vrishabhdeo, Veer Manibhadraji and Ambikadevi.
It is enjoyable to climb these hills and see for yourself what an amount of workmanship they have all put in 2000 Yrs back..Up the Hill!