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Karla Caves In Lonavala

Karla Caves in Lonavala, Maharashtra

Stroll along the shores of the mesmerising Karla Caves

Tourism in Lonavala

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Best time to visit
Oct - Feb
Ideal Duration
4-5 Days
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On Arrival
Starting from
Rs. 3,500
  • Fun & adventure
  • Ideal for friends
  • Nature

About Karla Caves in Lonavala

Karla Caves, also known as Karli Caves, Karla Cells or Karle Caves, are found near Lonavala in Maharashtra. Karla Caves are a group or complex of Buddhist Indian rock-cut caves which were discovered during an ancient time. These caves are located at a close proximity to Lonavala, at Karla which is only 10.9 kms from here. The shrines present at the caves were discovered during a period of time - from 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE. The oldest cave shrine in Karla caves is believed to be discovered during the 160th BCE. It is also one of the most popular shrines because it arose adjacent to a significant trade route. Some of the other famous caves in Lonavala include Bhaja Caves, Patan Buddhist Cave, Bedse Caves and Nasik Caves.

About Karla Caves

A particular group of caves at Karla is believed to be one of the smaller and older of the other rock-cut caves found in Maharashtra. However, it is believed that due to “Grand Chaitya” the caves are more famous. Grand Chaitya is famous as the largest and preserved chaitya hall during the 5th century BCE. During the construction of Karla Caves, many prominent traders and Satavahana kings made significant contribution by offering the grants needed for the same. One of the most interesting facts about the caves is its location. Karla Buddha Caves are located at Karli which is the border between North and South India.

History of the Karla Caves 

The Karla Caves were constructed over two periods - the first phase from 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD while the second phase was from 5th century AD to 10th century. It is believed that the cave was created through a single design only. The rest of three excavations belonged to the Mahayana phase. Local residents and common people donated money for the construction of the Karla Caves. Some of the individuals have been mentioned on the inscriptions found in the Karla Caves. They are named Vejamti, Sopara, Munakata and Dhenukakata. 

Significance of Karla Caves

When the Buddhists became familiar about trade and commerce, they tended to situate these caves or monastic complexes near ideal geographic location which is also closer to the important trade routes. This is how trade flourished through Karla caves in Maharashtra. At present, the complex of the cave complex comes under the authority of Archaeological Survey of India.

Architecture of Karla Caves

Karla Caves constitute of 16 rocks-cut excavations, out of which eight caves are the Chaitya Grihas.

These Caves are grand in structure and bear one of the most magnificent and largest Chaitya Grihas in India.

The largest cave among the other Karla caves is 37.87 m deep from front door to its rear, 13.87 m in width and 14.02 in height.

A number of marvelous rock-cut columns with embellishments adorn this cave while the intricate carvings add a dash of culture to it.

Just behind the alley, you will find several columns which further form a semi-circular ceiling. This is also the prime object of worship here.

Activities Around Karla Caves 

An exemplary architecture of the Buddhist rock-cut caves, the Karla Caves remain one of the most important heritage spots for our tourism. Take a walking tour to explore. 

The Karla Caves are believed to be carved from living rocks. Hence, tourists can climb up these Karla caves as a part of activity here. 

Take a tour of Pavana Lake, Lohagad Fort, Lion’s Pont, Bhaja Caves, Narayani Dham Temple, Lonavala lake and Tiger’s Leap which are easily accessible from here. 

Highlights of Karla Caves

The main cave has a chaitya hall with 37 octagonal pillars and a base of water jar. 

There are beautifully decorated sculptures of men, women and animals in the caves. 

These sculptures are an important feature because they are made up of teak wood. 

An Ashoka pillar is seen at the front side enclosed by a stone façade and Tirana in between. 

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    Authentic Traveler Reviews

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    Yamini Goteti

    Hyderabad

    Yamini's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    Everything is well and good but the agents were calling repeatedly without knowing whether the other person can respond or not at that moment. I got exhausted with those calls. It would be easy for us if you ask for the time when you can contact in the form itself while asking for the details of the trip.

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    Priyanka Sarma

    Navi mumbai

    Priyanka's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    hotel was worst it was very bad shahzar was very helpful

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    Abhijith Krishnakumar

    Pune

    Abhi's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    Positives: 1) Khushi from Travel Triangle was very helpful 2) Driver was very cordial Overall a good trip although Hotel and the travel agent guy could have been better. Totally happy with Travel Triangle.

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    Swapnilgaikwad

    Nashik

    Swapnilgaikwad's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    Trip was good and cab driver and service agent is familiar and polite, but hotel break fast is fixed to all days no choice for breakfast.

    CC

    Chaitu Chaitanya

    Hyderabad

    Chaitu's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    Everything is fine.But the driver don't have any knowledge of local sightseeing places.I would suggest your organization to engage with english speaking drivers which would be helpful.Hotels are good.Travel agents are helpful in all aspects.

    LM

    Linga Moorthi

    Mumbai

    Linga's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    We got unrated hotel even though it’s below average for higher amount paid to travel agency. Rest everything is best to mark.

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    Tusharpawar

    Pune

    Tusharpawar's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    It was memoriable trip i must say, loved it, had great time in Mahabaleshwar. Best memories will include horse riding, wonderful Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani sceneries and most important strawberries , had lot of them

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    Sidheshwar Ingavale

    Pune

    Sidheshwar's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    Very good experience. Well planned trip...thanks for traveltriangle...

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    Gaurav Jadhav

    Virar east

    Gaurav's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    Hotel was not up to mark. Not clean and food quality was not good.

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    Akash Patel

    Mumbai

    Akash's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    Let's go point-wise w.r.t the feedback: 1. The hotel, being a 3-star, did not met with the standards expected. I didn't expected a 3-star with a lavish ambience, decorated rooms, top-quality room service, etc. My expectation was a simple but full-fledged service. The hotel didn't know about my package booking as a result, they rose questions about free breakfast. Each time I had to clarify my self about the utilities included in the package and made me angry at point of time. Don't worry, I didn't shout on any employees of the hotel. 2. As this was my first honeymoon tour, the room decoration on valentine's day was very shabby. When I reached to my hotel room at night, all the balloons had fallen from the ceiling and adjacent walls. I and my wife made efforts to fix it. 3. The cake selection by the hotel service was very cheap. It was valentine's day and my first honeymoon tour, and those guys handed the black forest birthday cake with no garnishing on it. The waiter handed the cake with the matchbox and when I asked the reception to provide some candles, he said, "Sorry sir, that's not in your package". Candles? Package? seriously? I was like, what's the meaning of matchbox then? 4. The reason why I'd choose you is to strictly compare the cost of the tour, in person. If I draw a chart of personally-guided tour Vs third-party scheduled tour, the expenses that indulge shows major deviation. Of course, the package you'd pitched contains your margin but up to 50% was not expected. 5. Too much of your miscommunications with me and with the hotel staff. Some good experiences: 1. The driver was punctual, well mannered and informative with the places we visited. Respect for him. 2. Pro-activeness of our employees won my heart. As a conclusion, I would now think twice before approaching you. First, I'd thought of my Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary plan with you but now I am off the track.

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    FAQ's of Lonavala

    Read on to find out why our customers love us!

    You can reach Karla caves from Lonavala as it is the nearest railway station to go to Karla Caves by public transport. From Lonavala railway station, take a local bus or hire an auto to directly reach Karla.

    There are a total of 350 steps in Karla Caves. You have to climb these steps to reach the Karla caves from the starting point of the hill. Halfway trip comprises of only 200 steps.

    Karla Caves were built during a period of time - from 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE. Karla caves date back to the rock-cut caves of Buddhist origin which are located in Lonavala, Maharashtra.

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