Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cave No. 3, Kanheri

In Mumbai, there are more than 100 caves at Kanheri and among them Cave No. 3 is a magnificent structure. This west facing Buddhist cave temple is the largest and most remarkable of all caves in this site. It is entered through a gateway with a low parapet wall that is decorated with an animal frieze at the base and ornamental rail pattern above. The entrance is guarded by the guardians. 


The cave has a spacious courtyard in the front. A stone screen with two tall columns and two pilasters above which is a dwarf colonnade containing five small windows separates the verandah from the courtyard. 


On either side of the forecourt are pillars attached to the pilaster of the wall. The capital of the northern pilaster has four dwarf figures supporting a round object above. The capital of the southern pilaster has four seated lions. 


In the verandah on the two side walls of this vestibule are carved two gigantic Buddha images. These 7 m tall images were carved in later Hinayana period. Above the image in the curvature are beautiful carvings.


On two sides of the central entrance facade are carved four donor couples. The style in clothing and makeup on them resembles to what can be seen in other  Buddhist center of the same period. 


Three entrances from the verandah opens into a spacious hall. This hall measures 26 meters long, 12 meters wide and 15 meters high. There are total 34 pillars inside the hall forming two aisles and one nave. Among them 6 pillars, both on the right and left, from the hall entrance are similar in style and decoration. They all have tiered base, above which an octagonal shaft rises, ending with a square abacus above a cushion capital. 


There is a stupa measuring 5 meters in height at the apsidal end of this hall.  As per the inscriptions found here the cave belongs to 180 CE during the reign of the Satavahana king Sri Yajna Satakarni.



32 comments:

eileeninmd said...

The caves and the carvings are amazing, Rajesh! A wonderful place to visit.

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice shots.

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Magnificent cave sculptures.

Lowell said...

Hard to believe this is a cave! It's huge! Looks like some grand temple structure you might find on a hill!

Gillena Cox said...

nice shots, i can see the detail of the wall

have a nice Monday

much love...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Such amazing history -- I am always in awe.

Fun60 said...

I didn't realise there were so many caves in Mumbai. Your posts are so informative.

Wandering Wren said...

Hi Rajesh
Thank you for your Australia Day wishes. This cave is awesome, for the sheer scale and size of the building... You did well to capture the photos without people other than in the first photo, is that because you have so many sights like these in Mumbai?
Wren x

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful photos of the caves and history ~ love the single one of the figure!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Photo Cache said...

I would like to be in the last picture in person so I could feel how high the ceiling is.

Worth a Thousand Words

Derek said...

Thanks for this very interesting post. And you capture such mood and aura with your photos. Great stuff.

Have a good week.

Al said...

Superb - it's hard to believe it's a cave.

magiceye said...

Beautifully captured!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This is a fascinating place to see! It must be nice and cool inside.

ladyfi said...

What a fabulous place to visit!

ellen b. said...

What an amazing place to visit...

Reader Wil said...

Amazing how rich and beautifully this cave is created! Thanks for sharing.
Wil, ABCW Team.

Roger Owen Green said...

somehow looks like a place of erudition

ROG, ABCW

krishna said...

beautiful pictures and good informations..

Jane Hards Photography said...

Always so much to see. A travellers dream

Meoww said...

Reminds me of Petra. Beautiful!

Carver said...

The carvings are fantastic.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I'm shaking my head in amazement at the beauty and grandeur of these caves.

Gattina said...

Very interesting and a beautiful architecture !
ABC Wedenesday
http;//gattina-keyholepictures.blogspot.com/

Barb said...

Hello Rajesh, I'd be a little reluctant to be enclosed in the cave, but I'm glad I got to see the intricate work through your photos.

Lmkazmierczak said...

Handsome entrance♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/crystal-crunch/

Jeevan said...

You capture wonderful detail and marvelous perspective!

Sridharan Srinivasan said...

Nice..!

Abhijit Ray said...

Beautiful picture and great architecture. Such a structure in Mumbai! I saw some Buddhist structure in Junagad. I shall share soon.

harshita joshi said...

super picture and good info

Yogi Saraswat said...

What an amazing place to visit . Pictures are really appreciative and says that me too should be there a day . Brief introduction about Kanheri caves no 3 is remarkable .

Leena Walawalkar said...

Reminded me of a school picnic to Kanheri :)