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| Last Updated:: 14/09/2023

Bedse Caves






Bedse Caves (also known as Bedsa Caves) are situated in Maval taluka, Pune District, Maharashtra, India. These caves were built at the latest in 1st century BC (circa 60 BC) – thus they belong to the oldest ones in Maharashtra. When compared with the later cave temples, Bedse Caves are much simpler and smaller, with fewer furnishings. There are two main caves. Both main caves face east. Nearby there is a cave temple - incomplete separate cell.








 Most interesting cave is chaitya (prayer hall) with exquisite stupa in it - almost reaching the ceiling. Both sides of the main hall are flanked by octagonal columns. Five columns are adorned with simple ornaments. Several ancient inscriptions are left by the benefactors of caves.






Entrance in the cave is adorned with two round pillars and two semi-columns; each of them has beautiful sculptural groups on cap – humans or deities riding animals – e.g. horse, bull, elephant. The vaulted ceiling of chaitya is simple and bare unlike to later temples.






The other large cave chamber is vihara – monastery - with nine smaller cells for early Buddhist monks – Bhiku. Monks stayed here mostly during the monsoon - for some 4 months every year. Thus caves got their earlier name - Vasha Viharas - rain caves.









It is believed that monks (nuns!) here wrote the famous "Therigatha" - famous poetic scripture of religious content. Below the caves there are located few spring-water tanks – serving as coolers for cave surroundings as well.