It is a cave complex with 24 caves on the Mumbai Nashik Highway. Many of the rock-cut caves in Maharashtra are believed to be built by Pandava from Mahabharat and are called Pandavleni. Following similar folklores, these caves are called Pandavleni.
Nashik District, Maharashtra, India
Nashik is an ancient town on the banks of the river Godavari. It is a famous pilgrim place for Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists; and is visited by millions of devotees throughout the year. These caves are Buddhist caves with more than 2000 years of history. With changing times and faith followed, these caves are known with several names like Tirthankar Leni, Pandav Leni, Panch Pandav and Jain Caves, etc. The inscriptions in the caves refer to it as ‘Tiranhu’ or ‘Trirashmi’.
Trimbakeshwar, the origin of the river Godavari is approx. 25 KM from this site.
The Pandavleni comprises a group of 24 Buddhist Caves presenting 27 inscriptions. The Archaeological Survey of India has numbered the caves from West to East. The evidence at caves indicates that the caves have witnessed the period between the Satavahana and the Western Kshatrapa, who ruled over this region during the 1st century CE. A detailed record of this power struggle is reflected not only in inscriptions but also in the art and architecture at the site. Such inscriptions have helped researchers to understand the political, socio-economic and religious conditions that existed in Ancient India.
* Cave No 19 is the oldest one and was created with a donation from Krishna, A Satavahana ruler in the 1st Century BCE.
* The most attractive cave is No 18. It is a Chaitya Griha i.e. a prayer Hall with a stupa. The pillars inside are unique as they have inscriptions written vertically on them in Brahmi Script using Prakrit language.
*Water seepage is a major problem here, and it gets aggravated in the rainy season. Therefore some of the caves were converted into water reservoirs. Cave No. 1 is an example.
* Cave No.2 was carved as a Vihara (residential quarter) in 1st-2nd Century CE, and later, it was converted into a shrine with images of a Buddha.
*Cave No. 3 is one of the most interesting, it is decorated in detail. There are six huge dwars (doors).
*Almost the rest of the caves, numbered 6,7,8,10,11,12,17,20,23 and 24. have similar inscriptions recording the names and occupations of the donors.
*Some of the other Caves, in particular, 2,15,16,20, and 23 are also important sites to enable historians in the image of the various Buddhists.
The site was occupied by Jains after the decline of Buddhism. Jain monasteries probably continued to be here even in the medieval period.
The location of the caves is a holy Buddhist site. The cave is about 8 KM to the West of Nashik City, Maharashtra, India.
The caves are built on the Trirashami hill about 3004 feet above sea level. The location of the Buddhist caves in this region is near the highway going to North India.
The average annual temperature in Nashik is 24.1 degrees Celsius.
Winters are extreme in this region, and the temperature goes as low as 12 degrees Celsius.
The sun is very harsh during summers. Nashik gets more rain during summer than winters. The temperature during summer goes above 30 degrees Celsius.
The average annual rainfall is around 1134 mm.
Things to do
Visit Dadasaheb Phalke Smarak and Museum
Enjoy the scenic view from the hill.
Nearest tourist places
- Nashik city is famous for having religious Sites on the bank of the river Godavari.
- Sarkar Wada: 9.5 KM
- Trimbakeshwar Temple: 27.8 KM
- Gangapur Dam: 18.9 KM
- Sula Vineyards to take a wine tasting tour: 13 KM
- Indian Institute of Research in Numismatics and Coin Museum at Anjaneri: 18.7 KM
- Temples at Sinnar
- Jain Caves
- Forts around the city
Special food speciality and hotel
Grapes, Chiwda of Kondaji, Wine and Maharashtrian cuisine.
Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station
There are ample hotels available nearby this locality for the stay in as well as some ashrams are also located.
- The nearest Police Station is Ambad Police Station - 3.6 KM
- The nearest Hospital is Vakratunda Hospital Private Limited - 2 KM
Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit
The caves can be accessed by climbing the steps up the hill. It takes about 10 to 12 minutes to reach the entrance of the group of caves where a ticket issuing window is in front of Cave No. 10.
Timings: 8:00 A.M -6:00 P.M
The entry is free for everyone on Fridays.
Language spoken in area
English, Hindi, Marathi