Another locale to explore and love near Lonavla. Karla Cave is a Buddhist monastery near the travel route of between North Indian and South India. Buddhist monks were known to locate their monastic establishments in natural geographic formations close to major trade routes so as to provide lodging houses for travelling traders.
Since V has been working really loooong hours, and even worked full-day on my birthday, it was a surprise that he got 2 day weekend. We made full use of it by relaxing a lot at home and a short trip to Lonavla/ Khandala. I think it is a must for all Puneites and Mumbaikars to visit this place at least once a year during monsoons. :P
On our way back from Khandala, V asked me if I am game to explore Karla Caves. Though honestly speaking, I wasn’t very keen but I agreed. And it was a good decision. There is small 10-15 minutes climb of some stairs and you reach a beautiful locale and enjoy the architecture and carving of a historical monument.
These caves bore significance for merchants as it provided them with lodging when travelling. There is a temple dedicated to the goddess Ekveera, who is worshipped most notably by the Koli community of Mumbai.
The main cave features a large, intricately carved chaitya, or prayer hall, dating back to the 1st century BC. This is among the largest rock-cut chaityas in India, measuring 45 metres (148 ft) long and up to 14 metres (46 ft) high. There is an Ashokan pillar at the front, with a closed stone facade and torana in between. source: Wikipedia
For a change our little one co-operated and didn’t ask to be carried all the way up or down. She felt pride in telling us that she is now able to climb on her own. Thank you God for small mercies.
As a photographer I loved the myriad shops set up all the way up to the caves selling temple worship stuff and knick-knacks. They made a great subject to shoot.