Thanale Caves is located 72 kilometers (km) away from Mumbai, in Maharashtra (a state in India). It is a complex of caves where 23 Buddhist caves together form Thanale Caves. These caves are ancient caves and the origin of the Thanale Caves goes back to the 1st century BC. The Thanale Caves is considered as the first caves to be excavated not only in Maharashtra but also in India.
According to the scriptures present on the walls of these caves, the date of excavation might be between 70 and 50 BC. Therefore, this site is considered as the most ancient site for the Buddhist pilgrimage. The combination of 23 caves and being interconnected to each other makes the architecture style of the Thanale Caves even more interesting. Each cave has been numbered according to the Archaeology Department of the state and each cave holds an important relic within the cave. Therefore it is being preserved by the state government even after most of these scriptures and relics have disappeared over the years.
The cave no. 7 is the most famous cave amongst the 23 caves as it has been decorated with Buddhist scriptures and relics inside and outside the cave. The walls of this cave are covered with carvings telling several stories of the Buddhist religion. The rock-cut caves on a mountain makes the presence of the cave even more powerful as it is located in an isolated area a provides a calm environment to the people visiting these caves.
Mumbai Thanale Caves can be trek during the day time from 06:00 AM to 05:30 PM
Free | No Tickets