KARLA CAVES -
Karla Caves are the other important caves in the Buddhist pilgrimage
destinations, visited by many devotees every year. The place is more known
due to the Chaitya larget cave temples in India ,intricate sculptures and
pillars with artistic architecture. The hill caves are tough to get in, as
usual, and presents another chapter of spread of Buddhism and its
flourishing days during the golden era of Buddhism. These caves were built
in the 2nd century BC, but some of the architecture is still intact and
preserved in scientific manner, which makes detailed research of the art
forms possible for the archaeologists.
One of the pillars of the Karla caves has four lions at the top. This
design has been adopted as the national emblem of India.
These caves are easily reachable by road, lie near the Puna-Mumbai road, at
a distance of 20 km from Lonavla, a hill station and 40 km from Pune, a
fast-growing industrial city of Maharashtra.
The caves are beautifully decorated with many animals and different forms
of human life, artistically expressed through the sculptures cut out of
rock. The Chatya hall is worth a detailed watch for its architecture and
engineering skills. The rooftop is built of Teakwood and amazingly, its
still in perfect condition. The pillars are also sculptured, and the one
with four lions at the top has been honoured as the national emblem. The
expressions of all these sculptures are splendid, and they successfully
represent a flourishing era of Buddhism.
There is a stone stupa, magnificent in view, which makes the caves more
important both in architectural and tourist point of view. The stupa is
placed under an umbrella, to give it a royal look. There are delicate
carvings of structures of men, women and elephants, resembling to some of
the old Buddhist tales. There are 37 pillars with carvings of affluent men
and women, on elephants, yet bowing to the almighty Lord Buddha.
Another intrinsic beauty of these caves is its "hide n seek" with
the sunshine. The sunshine coming in through the windows and falls exactly
on the shrine, making it a miraculous view and a temple of solemnity.
The roof has been beautifully wood-worked to make the caves a rare example
of beauty. Surprisingly, woodwork is not a common feature in Buddhist
sculpture and art, and hence it shows effect of other cultures that
assimilated with the Buddhist art, to give it a refreshingly new look.
The pillars are also linked to the Ashoka who, had built many structures to
spread Buddhism, and are great examples of architecture and art.
The hill station is an ideal spot to locate nature in its fullest form,
and have a break from the busy city life schedules. A constant appeal to the
younger generations, the hill station has found its place in many Bollywood
movies for its picturesque surroundings. Tagauli, Lonavla and Bhushi lakes
are very famous and worth a watch. Besides, Khandala, only 5 km away, is
another well admired hill station. The place is important also for the Yoga
hospital that is quite reputed in terms of quality.
Pune is the heart of Maharashtra, a fast growing
industrial city of India, yet a traditional and cultural hub. This place has
the honour of being the birthplace of great leader Lokamanya Tilak, a
freedom fighter. The city is also called cultural capital of Maharashtra,
and is a good place to see the Marathi culture and taste the cuisines of
Maharashtra. The Pune district is also important in defense point of view,
since there are important bases of the Indian air force and the Army, in
Pune. It could also serve as a good shopping destination.
How to reach
Pune airport, in Lohegaon, at a distance of 55 km
is the nearest and a major airport of Maharashtra.
There is a local railway station at a distance of
5 km, Malavil, in Bhaja Village, however, Pune is a better known and well
connected railway station.
The caves are reachable through the Mumbai Pune
road. Buses between Mumbai and Pune go via Karla and hence easily reachable.
However, private rented vehicles are also available.
Where to stay
One can stay in Pune, hotel Le Meridien, Sun N Sand, The Black diamond,
Best Western the pride, Hotel Blue Diamond etc are good hotels.
BW THE PRIDE
: 5, University Road, Shivajinagar, Pune 411 005, Maharashtra
Access : 09 Kms from Lohegaon Airport,01 Kms from Pune Railway
station & Bus stand.
FORTUNE INN JUKASO
: 6- Viman Nagar, Pune Nagar Road- 411014, Pune, India.
Access : 5 kms from the airport and 8 kms from the railway
QUALITY INN CENTURION
: Shivaji Nagar Pune, Maharashtra 411005
ROYAL ORCHID CENTRAL
: Marisoft Annexe, Kalyani Nagar,Pune 411 014
Access : 10 minutes from the airport.
SUN N SAND RESORT
: 262, Bund Garden Road,Pune - 411 001.
TAJ BLUE DIAMOND
: 11, Koreagaon Road, Pune-411 001
Access : 07 Kms from Airport, 02 Kms from pune railway station.
02kms from pune bus stand.
: 1,Bund Garden Road,Pune 411 001
Access : 07 Kms from Airport,01 Km from.
THE O HOTEL
: Final Plot 293 Sangamwadi TP Scheme,Koregaon Park,pune 411 001
Access : 6.5 Kms from Pune Airport,2.5 Kms from Pune Railway
station & Bus Stand.