Dharashiv Caves is a nexus of 7 rock-cut caves. They were carved in the 5th - 6th century AD and are the place of faith for Buddhist and Jain religions.
Osmanabad District, Maharashtra, India
Osmanabad is a fascinating city within the district with its namesake. The ancient city still harnesses its historic roots even after being transported to a modern era. The city was ruled by the Nizams, Bhonsles, Chalukyas, Rastrakutas and several other rulers. It is a part of the erstwhile Marathwada region. Also known as Dharashiv, Osmanabad stands as a testimony to its ancient past and houses historical monuments, religious shrines of different communities.
The Dharashiv caves consist of 7 caves in the Balaghat Mountains. The 1st cave is a small open space without any statues. Cave 2 has a central hall, with 14 cells for the residence of the monks and garbhagriha with an image of the Jain gods. Caves 3, 4, and 7 have small open spaces without any images or artefacts. Cave 6 has a broken statue. Some experts believe Dharashiv caves were originally Buddhist but with time these caves were converted into monuments of the Jain religion. There are later period caves that were also excavated in the proximity of these. There are caves excavated in the hill related to the Buddhist era at 13 km from Dharashiva. These caves are from the middle of the 7th century AD.
From the sculptures, the hood of the serpent over the head is of the Jain Tithankar Parshwanath. However, the figure of deer with a Dharmachakra between them on the pedestal indicates that originally it was of Buddhist site. Nearby to these caves, some Jain caves were excavated on the same hill, known as Cave 5 and 6. These caves are referred to in the Jain Prakrit work Karakandacariu. It mentions these were excavated by king Karakanda, who came to the first few caves from the prince Shiva of Tagararapura (village Ter near Osmanabad).
There is an isolated cave near the Jain complex, which seems unfinished. There is the depiction of episodes from Hindu text Harivamsa on the facade of the cave indicating the cave was a Hindu cave temple. In the premises of the Jain cave complex a medieval fortified well preserved Temple can be seen.
Dharashiv Caves are 8 KM from Osmanabad city in Balaghat Mountains.
The region of Aurangabad has a hot and dry climate. The summers are more extreme than winters and monsoon, with a temperature up to 40.5 degrees Celsius.
Winters are mild, and the average temperature varies from 28-30 degrees Celsius.
Monsoon season has extreme seasonal variations, and the annual rainfall in Aurangabad is around 726 mm.
Things to do
- Visit the spectacular Dharashiv Caves, a series of 7 ancient caves of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religions.
- Appreciate the stunning views from the top of the hill.
- Visit the Medieval Temple
Nearest tourist places
- Garad Garden(5.7 KM)
- Hatla Devi Hill station(9 KM)
- Ramligappa Lamture Government Museum(25.9 KM)
- Ghatshil Temple(28.9 KM)
- Aai Yedeshwari Temple(31.3 KM)
- Javalgaon Dam(37.6 KM)
- Ausa Fort(59.7 KM)
- Paranda Fort(70 KM)
- Tuljapur Temple (27.7 KM)
Special food speciality and hotel
Maharashtrian Cuisine is famous here.
Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station
Many local restaurants at Osmanabad city
Many hotels at Osmanabad city
Nearest Post office: Osmanabad head Post Office.
Many Hospitals at Osmanabad city
Nearest Police station: Osmanabad Police station
Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit
The best time to visit the caves is during the rainy season, as the landscape is green with the temperature cooling down after summer.
Winter is windy, cold and a comfortable season.
It is suggested to bring water and food as they are not available near caves but in the city.
Language spoken in area
English, Hindi, Marathi