Junnar Caves illustrate yet another rock cut cave temple complex devoted to Buddhism in the state of Maharashtra. Spread over four hills, this cave district hosts the largest number of 200 excavations dedicated to Hinayana phase of Buddhism. Carved during mid 3rd century BC to late 3rd century AD, the caves form the perfect base for observing rock cut architecture.
A Junnar Cave tour is incomplete without a visit to its three promising rock cut cave groups. these are Lenyadri, Tuljalena and Ganeshlena cave groups. The best known facet of Junnar belongs to Lenyadri Caves, comprising 30 caves in its group belonging to 1st-3rd century period. Facing southwards, these caves are numbered serially from east to west. Two of the caves, namely, 6 and 14 are chaityas (prayer halls); whereas rest of them feature vihara cells (monasteries). The other cave groups here include Tuljalena, and Ganesh lena.
Tuljalena in Junnar features a group of 11 artificial rock cuts. Here, dome shaped shrine in the cave no. 2 features the remnants of stunning ancient paintings on its ceilings and pillars. Also, the same cave preserves the remains of valuable ancient Buddhist paintings.
The Ganesh Lena caves here are also a beautiful specimen of Junnar caves and feature a vihara along with many small cells and chaityas. The splendid caves here are located in Pune district of Maharashtra, at a distance of 177 km from Mumbai.
Excursions Tour from Junnar Caves
The Ellora Caves are a remarkable achievement of caves in Maharashtra and feature the three cave complexes dedicated to Buddhist, Hindu and Jain faiths. The cave complex, built between the 6th and 10th century is a world heritage site known for its exquisite sculptures.
This city of wealth atop the hill was a Hindu fortified territory known as Devgiri before Tughlaqs occupied this kingdom and renamed it as Daulatabad. Besides the hilltop fort, the heritage town is also known for many notable monuments featuring Chand Minar and Chini Mahal. The minaret is a tower beautifully covered with Persian glazed tiles. Inside Chini Mahal, the last sultan of Daulatabad was imprisoned by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Ajanta Caves mainly thrive around Buddhism and its flourishing journey in western India. These 29 caves represent a fine picture of the various facets of the religion based on the Hinayana and the Mahayana, through the architecture, sculpture and murals during Junnar Tour.