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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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Starting from
Rs. 3,000
  • 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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    Lonavala Tour Packages

    Read on to find out why our customers love us!

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    Vikas Shelake

    Pune

    Vikas's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    awesome experience with travel triangle on time pick and awesome hospitality
    AS

    Azizahmed Shiraz

    Vijayapura

    Azizahmed's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    Very hot weather.....and couldn't complete Karla caves as three climbings of stairs in one day not possible
    AG

    Aravind Gopalakrishna

    Bangalore

    Aravind's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    It was a great experience to spend the vacation time with my family. Thanks much for the organizers to have a great itinerary and professional driver who took care of our needs. However, it would have been great if the organizers could have made some pro-active suggestions in few plans. For example:
    I had to tell them to include the ferry experience to Alibag from Mumbai as the initial plan they had made did not involve the ferry - but the on-road trip to Alibag. These small things matter.
    DM

    Dr Mayuri

    Pune

    Dr's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    Very nice experience with himani mam and team... Nice trip with family and enjoyed a lot Driver Mr Arshad bhai was very polite and co operative...he was family with us in the whole tour.. Even place where we stayed was very pleasant and lovely....over all experience very nice....thank u travel tria
    ngle.. Veena lake mahabaleshwar...very nice place
    SK

    Sriram Kv

    Bengaluru

    Sriram's 4 days trip to Lonavala

    Over all travel experience was very good. But hotel room size in Pune is not small.
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    Tarun Solanki

    Ahmedabad

    Tarun's 3 days trip to Lonavala

    Our recent vacation planned through TravelTriangle had its highs and lows, with Agent Gaurav Sharma shining bright amidst some disappointments. Firstly, let me highlight the commendable service provided by Gaurav Sharma. He meticulously organized our trip to Lonavala, Khandal, Panchgani, and Mahaba
    leshwar, ensuring our preferences were met and our journey smooth. Gaurav's dedication to customer satisfaction was evident through his regular follow-ups and genuine concern for our well-being throughout the trip. However, our experience with the hotel in Lonavala, Aureole Mrida - A Boutique Hotel, was far from satisfactory. The initial room assigned to us was plagued with issues – from a leaking washbasin to an overall foul odor. Gaurav promptly intervened, helping us relocate to a better room. Yet, the disappointment persisted as the breakfast served the next morning was below par, with stale breads being served, much to our dismay. The unapproachable and indifferent attitude of the hotel staff further added to our dissatisfaction. I strongly advise against choosing this hotel, and I hope TravelTriangle takes note of this feedback seriously. Thankfully, our experience improved drastically upon reaching Panchgani. The Blizzard Resort not only offered a beautiful setting but also boasted a team of helpful and cooperative staff. From delicious food to impeccable hygiene standards, every aspect of our stay was delightful. Special mention to Prashant and Abhishek, who went above and beyond to ensure our comfort. The opportunity to pluck strawberries from the nearby farm added an extra charm to our stay. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the area. In conclusion, while our journey with TravelTriangle was marked by highs and lows, Gaurav Sharma's exceptional service and the delightful experience at Blizzard Resort salvaged our vacation. However, attention must be paid to addressing the shortcomings encountered, particularly with hotel selections, to ensure a consistently satisfying experience for travelers.
    AA

    Anju Agarwal

    Pune

    Anju's 5 days trip to Lonavala

    Good things: 1.) The good part for this booking was the co-ordination and customization provided by Himani madam. Very polite behaviour and hear out customer s very well. 2.) Itineary desinged according to requirements so able to cover the whole itineary. Average things: 1.) Trip was booked well in
    advanced, but driver and cab details were not even shared 10 hours before start of trip. We clearly told at time of advanced booking that New model of Innova is required, but at the very end moment they provide very old model of Innova which was not comfortable, basic radio/FM was not working. 2.) Driver behavior was un-friendly. He was not at all aware of our route and itineary. We guided him the whole journey through Google location on our phone. Good part somehow, we were able to cover full itineary. 3.) Hotels for Pune, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar were very good but in the end the hotel boooked at Nashik provided the worst experince. Basic facility provided in room were not working but anyways with good support provided by Himani madam, things got managed.
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    Nicksds Chendke

    Pune

    Nicks's 5 days trip to Lonavala

    For this trip anyways I suggested hotels to travel triangle and hotels were good. Travel triangle can take my suggestion to recommend Windmill to other customers. Staying in Windmill executive suite was too comfortable and luxurious.
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    Vaibhav Sharma

    New delhi

    Vaibhav's 7 days trip to Lonavala

    Amazing hotels and cab service! Excellent experience! Kudos to BackToHolidays and TravelTriangle!!
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    Nirmeetpadhy

    Brahmapur

    Nirmeetpadhy's 7 days trip to Lonavala

    This is my 6th trip with travel triangle and by far the worst trip ever. The cab and the driver were too old to ride. The hotels were good in shirdi and aurangabad, but the worst hotel I have ever experienced in lonavala and mumbai. The cab was very annoyingly calling the driver repeatedly 5 to 7 ti
    mes a day asking him to take shortcuts in the lonely roads at the night time, which is not at all safe for a family ride. I would request you, don't ever give such bad experience in a family trip.

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    FAQ's of Lonavala

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    How do I reach Karla caves?

    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.

    How many steps are there in Karla caves?

    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.

    Who built Karla caves?

    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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