2000 year old Buddhist trail to Karla & Bhaja Caves as a day trip from Mumbai

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From $192.14

6 reviews   (4.83)

Price varies by group size

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Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 12 hours

Departs: Mumbai, Mumbai

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

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Karla & Bhaja Caves is a day tour from Mumbai where we go back 2000 years to explore rock cut Buddhist caves on an ancient trade route. Whats in store are magnificent monasteries up in the hill, prayer halls, exquisite sculptures carved on rocks, residences of monks of the first century as well as shelters made for weary travelers of the ancient trade routes between the Arabian Sea and the Deccan Plateau.

What's Included

GST (Goods and Services Tax)

Hote & Cruise Terminal pickup and drop-off

Local guide


What's Not Included


Traveler Information

  • INFANT: Age: 0 - 0
  • CHILD: Age: 2 - 12
  • ADULT: Age: 13 - 99

Additional Info

  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Public transportation options are available nearby

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

What To Expect

Karla Caves
730AM- Hotel pick up

945AM– We reach the base of Karla caves. There are a set of 200 steps to be climbed from the parking area.

Karla Caves wee built between the 2nd and 5th centuries under the patronage of the Kingdoms of the day. These caves were a key centre for Buddhism in Western India. There are 16 magnificent Buddhist caves with the oldest one dating back to AD 160. The first set of caves were built by Theravadas, an ancient sect of Buddhists while Mahayana group of Buddhists built the later set of caves. The sculptures in the Caves are remarkable. Horse shoe shaped windows bring in the sun light into the cave providing a refreshing environment.

The highlight of this visit will be the prayer hall in the main Cave, which is one of the largest rock cut structures in India. The object of worship is a Stupa right at the end of the prayer hall.

Cave no 12 is the other unforgettable experience. It has a very interesting characteristic. The ceiling of this Cave has wooden ribs on the ceiling. The wood has survived for 2 millenia!

2 hours • Admission Ticket Included

Bhaja Caves
After lunch, we visit Bhaja Caves, the other important Buddhist centre in this part of the world. 200 intricately carved steps need to be surmounted before we reach this magnificent specimen of rock cut Buddhist caves. We visit a set of 22 caves located 400 feet above the village of Bhaja, dating back to 2nd century BC and built by Hinayana group of Buddhists. While 10 of these caves were Viharas or residences for the monks, the other 12 are Chaityas or prayer halls.

Cave 12 is a splendid specimen of wooden architecture and vaulted horseshoe ceiling. It also has a pillar which shows Buddha in different forms like Bodhi tree, lotus, elephant, wheel and throne. One of the carvings at Bhaja caves show a woman playing a Tabla the classical Hindustani musical instrument. This has pushed back the current understanding of origin of Tabla as an instrument in Ancient India.

730 PM- End of Karla & Bhaja Caves tour and we drop you back to hotel

2 hours • Admission Ticket Included


Ancient caves and Buddhist tour
Larajames72, 08-03-2020
Karla and Bhaja are 2000 year old Buddhist caves. We had a fantastic time exploring the remarkable sculpture and ancient architecture. Both caves are located on top of hills and the set in idyllic village. The scenery was breathtaking and the guide was very knowledgeable about Buddhism. We learnt a lot about the origin of Buddhism and it's philosophy and it's dynamics with Hinduism the dominant religion of the land.
The highway is very good for the drive and the people super friendly. Highly recommended
Karla and Bhaja Buddhist tour
Gary_peters23, 28-02-2020
This was our second tour with this company. Our first tour to Kanheri caves was amazing and kindled our interest on learning more about the fantastic ancient Buddhist caves around Mumbai. So we went out of Mumbai on a day trip to Karla and Bhaja caves in the picturesque hill station of Lonavla. Madhu was phenomenal again as in Kanheri. The sculpture here were much more beautiful and detailed as this was the latter period when Buddhism started accepting idols. Both the cave systems were on top of hills in a scenic location. The level of detailing in the sculptures was amazing. Our day was very enjoyable due to the immensely knowledgeable Madhu who told us everything we needed to know about Buddhism and how it coexisted with Hinduism. The best part of the day was discussing the different philosophies of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism sitting in a 2000 year old cave! What better way to understand India?!
Stimulating heritage tour
Kitjones2, 22-02-2020
We came by cruise ship and were received at the port. This is a fantastic tour of the countryside and about Buddhist history, art, architecture and way of life. We learnt so much during this tour. Narayanan was amazing and on a mission to send us back enlightened! He was patient and tailored the tour as per our ability and interests. At the end of it we were overwhelmed and felt we should have spent more time In Mumbai! This tour would be an amazing one for anyone looking to better understand the rich cultiural heritage of India, Buddhism especially. The caves and sculptures are 2000 years old and simply magnificent. You will not forget this tour for a long time!
Kanheri caves and Mumbai: best tour experience ever,
paulvs2017, 07-02-2020
On the recommendation of a friend, himself an experienced traveler in India, we contacted Five Senses. Their director, Narayanan, responded to our request for a shore excursion to the Kanheri Caves NW of Mumbai. The advance communications were so clear and thoughtful we knew we were in for something good, but the tour far exceeded every expectation. Narayanan himself collected us at the port and drove us to the Kanheri caves, then guided us through this wonderful site with the help of his colleague Douglas, both of them expert and generous in their guidance. The day amounted to a brief and stimulating course in Indian cultural traditions, and our questions took us into current events as well. Our guides were both candid and tactful, and remarkably well informed. Sensitive to the needs of older travelers (we are 71 and 69), they took us on a walk through this ancient Buddhist "university," a site of great artistic and historical significance. Their explanations were both complex and clear, learned and memorable, unlike the usual tourist fare of simplistic tales. The drive to and from the site was as instructive as the site itself, partly because the guides shared information and answered questions so generously, and also because they spoke so perceptively about the Mumbai we saw out the windows of the very comfortable SUV. I would confidently, no, eagerly ask Narayanan to arrange travel for us anywhere in India. This travel company gave us not just a very insightful tour of an extraordinary place. It gave us contact with exceptionally knowing and thoughtful people. We have traveled so much in the last few years that I had to replace my passport four years early because the visa pages were full. No tour company on five continents has come close to this one day in my experience.
Kalra Caves
RamadaAmritsar, 23-01-2020
We have visited the old heritage site, we family enjoyed there and worth to visit the place.You must visit before lunch time which is very good.

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