Mahakali Caves Mumbai- the Kondivite Caves
The Mahakali Caves Mumbai is also known as Kondivite caves because it is located near the Kondivite villages of Mumbai. It is a group of rock cut monuments that has been built many years ago, say in between first century BCE and sixth century CE. This is a Buddhist monastery that stands in Andheri in the eastern suburbs. It is the one of the best caves in the city. The caves have been carved out of basalt rock. Basalt is a type of black rock that is created from volcanic eruptions and is prone to weathering. The cave displays mythological figures of Buddhist religion.
There are two groups of caves (rock cut) – fifteen caves to the south eastern part and four caves to the north western part. The two caves among the group of four consist of a dining place and also a dwelling place. Some broken tombstones could be found between areas of the two groups of caves. Within the fascinating monuments there stand s small hall like auditorium where teachers and students meet. Both the group of caves is connected by several half broken stone steps.
Most of the caves are cell for the monks to stay which is called viharas except the ninth cave which is called chaitya and holds some Buddhist shrines. The south east group of caves is older than the other part. The monuments contain remaining of structure and cisterns to hold drinking water collected from rain.
Feature of ninth cave
The cave no. 9 or the chaitya is the most extraordinary caves among all the caves. It is the oldest caves out of the 19th caves. There is an inner shrine along with a stupa that is enclosed within a curved wall with latticed window on both sides. There is small inscription in pali written over one of the window “gift of the Vihar, by a Bhramin of the gotama gotra, Pittimba, an inhabitant of Pachi Kama”.
How to reach Mahakali Caves
The caves of Mahakali can be reached by road, train and air. Andheri railway station as well as Jogeshwari railway station is regarded as the nearby railway terminus to the caves. Tourists coming from Mumbai can board the trains that are coming to these places. Then taxi or local buses could be hired to reach the spot. There are many bus stations from where buses leave for the Mahakali caves such a s Mahakali bus station, Takshila bus stop, Saibaba Mandir Marol Bus stop and many more that could take you to the stop in just half an hour. The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji domestic airport and cabs and buses are available to reach the spot. So you can see reaching there is not an issue, only you have to make arrangements for that.
Nearby attractions of Mahakali caves
The Albert museum is located nearby that houses maps, archeological items and photographs of ancient Mumbai (Bombay). It is regarded as the oldest museum in the city. There are books, paintings, ancient metals and artifacts. The other nearby spot is the Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Malabar Hill and Arnala Fort.
The caves stay opened on all days of the week and visiting timing starts from 9 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon. Entering the cave requires a ticket of 20 INR. The months of October to February is regarded as the most suitable time to visit there. The cave stands on the road that links Jogeswari and Vikroli. The caves overlook this road link and there are many buses run by the government that goes through the road.
The Mahakali Caves Mumbai is a favorite destination for archeologists and history lovers. The caves are located far away from the city life and therefore offer a peaceful and serene environment. The caves are there since the empire of Ashoka. Inscription on walls are written in Pali language which is an older language, older than Sanskrit. You can see on the image of Mahakali caves that how such small cells have been carved into the rocks, a beautiful creative specimen within rock cut monasteries. This is truly a unique archeological rock cut monastery.