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I dream of wandering wild, walking along the woods plucking fruits, laze around sublime landscapes. I feel alive when I'm out there basking in the sun, watching new horizons. I'm in search of little joys that keep me revived. I wish to belong in places where I can quench my thirst drinking from brooks, spend the day chasing butterflies, sipping honey, stopping by to coo with the birds. I am in love with cloud-kissed mountains and flowery meadows. Freedom is what I crave for! Set me free so that I’ll come back to you… I'm a dreamer. I believe that my dreams will take me to new places. This blog tells about my journeys and people who had been a part of them..

Monday, July 25, 2016

Karla caves - a quick getaway from Mumbai

It was an unplanned trip to Lonavala on a weekday evening. We started from Mumbai by car and had no specific destination in mind. Although I had been to Lonavala before i decided to explore a new spot. 

It took us about an hour or so to reach the town. After a quick search we found a reasonable place to stay near the telephone exchange. The rooms were neat and decent with a small sit out. Dinner was not available as we had reached late. The receptionist suggested us to buy Gujarati thali from a nearby place. 

You may find the stay details here http://ferreiraresortlonavala.blogspot.in/

Garden at the stay
Next day morning we had breakfast from a hotel in town named Radhakrishna. This was the only drawback I could find at the stay, their cafeteria timings were from 8am-8pm or so, which I felt was not convenient. Post breakfast we headed to Karla caves which was 10km far according to the sign boards. The route was scenic, mountains and crop fields lined the sides. However after sometime there were no sign boards to guide us to the caves. I knew there was temple named Ekvira mandir and that's where the caves are. We were surprised to find that the locals were not much aware about the caves. We had doubts whether the place was not so great. Cool breeze touched our faces, it felt like it was going to rain.

After much roaming on the wrong routes, finally we found the entrance to Ekvira mandir and Karla caves. The car took an uphill ride to the parking lot. The moment we parked the car it started drizzling. We didn't back out. So we took out the umbrellas and started the climb through stone paved steps. Shops lined both sides selling offerings to God and milk sweets. Some sat on the ground selling peanuts and kala jamun. To my great disappointment, certain spots were polluted with heaps of plastic waste which seemed very untidy for a temple way. Nobody to educate these locals?

The climb was not that exhausting, just a medium level climb. We saw a lot of families probably going to pay visit to the temple. We took a pass of Rs.15 to get inside the cave structure. There was a big Ashoka pillar at the entrance carved out of stone. The temple was situated just near the entrance.

caves outside view

Ashoka pillar at the entrance

Damaged stone sculptures

Buddhist culture and history through stone carvings
The prayer hall called as the Chaitya, is one of the largest rock-cut ones in India. The complex also contains dwelling places of monks named as Viharas. We had no permission to enter those areas.
Timings to visit cave: 9am to 5.30pm, Best time to visit June - January.

Chaitya or the prayer hall
A view of Duke's nose on our way back

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