Destinations in India,  Maharashtra

Rock-cut caves of Maharashtra (Elephanta, Karla, Pala)

The epitome of rock-cut architecture of Maharashtra is represented by the caves of Ellora and Ajanta, of course, but I haven’t been fortunate to visit these places yet. However, I’ve been lucky enough to explore some other caves around Maharashtra – Elephanta, Karla and Pala just to name a few.

The Caves of Elephanta
I’ve been to the Elephanta Island countless times. I wouldn’t say it’s one of those places I feel like going back to again and again, but… Firstly, I like the ferry ride, with bright sunlight sparkling in the sea waves, squawking seagulls and happy faces of people anticipating an adventure. Secondly, it’s a pleasant journey for the kids – they love the ferry too, and the toytrain, and the monkeys, and the mystery of the caves. And thirdly, it’s a nice place to take your guests to – whenever anyone visits us in Mumbai, we take them to the Elephanta Island. This way our visitors are kept entertained the whole day 🙂 Usually they like this experience a lot. So here is my Elephanta in photos.

The ferry
The ferry
... and the seagulls
… and the seagulls
... and the toy train
… and the toy train
... and the monkeys
… and the monkeys
... and some more monkeys
… and some more monkeys
The entrance to the caves
The entrance to the caves
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta
The caves of Elephanta

Karla Caves

We selected  this place when I decided my mom a bit of India outside Mumbai. To say she was impressed would be an understatement – the whole trip was a big success 🙂 It took me time to enter the caves – I was completely captivated by the outside facade with its interesting stonework, but when I finally made my way into the prayer hall, it was nothing like what I’d expect.   As I’ve already mentioned before, I’m not religious, but if I were, this would be the place I would come with my prayers to.

At the entrance
At the entrance
The facade
The facade
The facade
The facade
The facade
The facade
Karla Caves, the Prayer hall
Karla Caves, the Prayer hall
Karla Caves, the Prayer hall
Karla Caves, the Prayer hall
Karla Caves, the Prayer hall
Karla Caves, the Prayer hall

Pala Caves

We discovered this place by chance when coming back from Mahabaleshwar, and of course my wanderlust wouldn’t let me leave it unexplored. The grand stairway was extremely inviting, the views – breathtaking, the rain – almost stopped, so why not? 🙂 The place was tranquil and beautiful – no wonder the ancient Buddhists chose it for living their simple lives, meditating and sending us their messages carved in stone through the centuries. Who knows, perhaps they even enjoyed the very same views I’m so grateful to the monsoons for.

A stairway to remember
A stairway to remember
What fairy tale does it lead to?
What fairy tale does it lead to?
Let's go!
Let’s go!
The caves
The caves
The caves
The caves

Waterfalls ...

... and wells
… and wells
Inside the chambers
Inside the chambers
Inside
Inside
The views
The views
A message through the centuries
A message through the centuries

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