Kanheri Caves
courtesy - www.mumbaiphotos.com
These are Buddhist caves or monasteries where monks practiced their austerities around the first century AD. And unlike the artistic extravagance of Elephanta, they are spartan and bare. Situated in the heart of Mumbai's National Park, the complex contains more than a hundred tiny cells cut into the flank of a hill, each fitted with a stone plinth that evidently served as a bed. There is also a congregation hall supported by huge stone pillars that contains the dagoba, a kind of Buddhist shrine. And if you pick your way up the hill you will find channels and cisterns that are remnants of an ancient water system that channeled rainwater into huge urns. In fact, Kanheri is probably the only clue to the rise and fall of Buddhism in Western India.