I was on my way to Mumbai, sleeping peacefully in an odd hour trying to avoid participation in conversation with a group of people sitting in the lower berth.
One of the family was visiting Mumbai for the first time, hence was curious about the city. ‘ So what are the places to see in Mumbai?’ asked one of the members of the family. It made me excited, but I refrain myself from participating.
People we’re giving them ideas and opinions to that family about Mumbai, which we’re pretty good. The city has got nothing other than the local trains and Dabbawalas, it’s all concrete jungles’ said one old man sitting on the side berth.
This forced me to participate in this group discussion. I woke up and went down pretending to take out some stuff from my bag.
To my luck, the discussion was continuing. ‘Have you ever been to Mumbai’ I asked the old man while taking my seat in the lower berth.
‘Yes, I have been here several times’; the old man replied looking at me.
The attention of all the person was now onto me. So I asked, ‘How can you say then, that Mumbai has nothing other than concrete jungles?’‘Have you seen the art in CST station or sat by the Marine Drive?’
‘Yes, I have’ replied the old man. ‘Yes, these are ordinary things, it has got nothing’.
Me being foolish continued to argue with the old man. Later I asked. ‘ Have you seen Sanjay Gandhi National park? Have you seen the Kanheri caves?’
‘Yes’ said the old man. But with his tone I can understand that he was lying, he just doesn’t want to lose the argument.
Then came lunch, and the entire point of discussion got shifted to the railway’s lunch.
I couldn’t speak much about Kanheri cave that day, but I hope I can give some overview of this magnificent beauty.
Location of the Kanheri Caves
Kanheri Caves, situated in Sanjay Gandhi national park near Borivali. The cave’s Entrance is five kilometres inside the main entrance of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. From the entrance of Sanjay Gandhi national park, one can walk, rent a bicycle, share a cab or take a bus to reach the Kanheri caves.
Reaching the Caves
Sanjay Gandhi National park is on Western Express Highway, It is easily accessible by road from all parts of the city. The nearest railway station is Borivali railway station. You can take a train from Churchgate station and get down at Borivali railway station. You can take auto-rickshaw or bus to reach Borivali National Park bus stop.
Only one bus of BEST with the number 188LTD goes from Borivali station to Kanheri Caves. Else on reaching the national park you can rent a cycle or take a shared ride in a car to reach the base of the Kanheri caves. Suttle buses are also available, from the entrance.
There is a parking space available for private vehicle owners, so you can easily park your ride on the base of Kanheri Cave.
Other than Mumbai’s local trains, there is also an option to take a bus. You can easily get a bus from most of the important part of the city to reach Borivali station.
If you are coming from Thane or Navi Mumbai, you can easily get a bus. There are many Many ST, TMT, BEST bus services available from Vashi and Thane.
However, the local train remains the quickest and the most reliable option.
About the Kanheri Caves
The word ‘Kanheri’ is derived from the Hindi word Kanha-Giri or Krishnagiri which means black mountain. These caves have been named so because they have been formed of black basalt rock.
The caves were temporary home to Buddhist monk till it was abandoned in the 11th century AD. Later the caves were re-discovered by Japanese monks.
There are about 109 caves, inside the caves, one can find prayer hall, known as Vihara, stupas, Buddhist carvings and paintings.
The cave also had a water system, there are huge tanks on top of the hill which were used to collect rainwater and the water is then channelled to the caves using small man-made canals.
Even today, during monsoon, you can experience the beauty of the flowing water through the channel all across the caves.
Kanheri caves have a lot of history associated with itself, but you don’t have to be a history lover to visit the Kanheri cave. The place is a perfect spot for Mumbaikars to take a break during the weekend. It is better to come here during morning hours so that you can enjoy the cave and the park.