The state of Maharashtra in India is dotted with numerous Buddhist caves. Along with Buddhism, these caves are also closely associated with other religions such as Hinduism and Jainism. Some of these Buddhist cave in Maharashtra are Ajanta, Ellora, Junnar, Karle, Kanheri and Bhaja. Of all the Buddhist caves in Maharashtra, Ajanta and Ellora caves are most famous and World heritage sites as they represent one of the masterpieces of sculpture and paintings.
The Ajanta caves are situated in the Aurangabad district of
Maharashtra, India. The caves, thirty in number, are said to have
witnessed the prosperity as well as the decline of the two sects of
Buddhism, the Hinayana and the Mahayana. They are adorned with
paintings, scriptures and architecture of both the sects.
Ellora Caves are situated in the state of Maharashtra, India. They lie
at a distance of approximately 25 km from the Aurangabad district. The
beautiful caves of Ellora symbolize three of the major religions of the
world, namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. They also hold the
distinction of being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Junnar caves are situated in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
They lie at a distance of approximately 177 km from the city of Mumbai,
on the Mumbai-Aurangabad route. There are three major groups of caves in
the hills surrounding Junnar plains, of which the most prominent ones
are Tulija Lena and the Ganesh Lena. All of the Junnar caves, situated
in India, were founded somewhere between 2nd Century BC and 3rd Century
Kanheri Caves are situated in the heart of the Sanjay Gandhi National
Park, Maharashtra. They lie at a distance of approximately 10 km from
Borivali, Mumbai. They are almost 109 in number and date back to
somewhere between 1st century BC and 9th century AD. Kanheri Caves
signify a golden beginning and the end of Buddhism in the northern
Karla Caves are situated in the state of Maharashtra, near the
Pune-Mumbai Road. They lie at a distance of approximately 20 km from
Lonavla and 40 km from Pune. The caves of Karla date back to the 2nd
century BC and are known for their Chaitya Hall, intricate sculptures
and pillars with ingenious architecture.