Jogeshwari Caves – Have You Visited Yet?
Away from the bustle of the city, Mumbai is home to the Jogeshwari caves, which hold a great deal of history that few of us are aware of. Situated in an area that’s rather easy to miss, these caves hold architecture that is older than you can imagine. Here’s why you need to make a trip here if you haven’t already.
A Quick Background
The Jogeshwari Caves have a surprisingly rich history, but no one really knows how they got there. They are named after a deity known as “Yogeshwari” by the local people. The caves date back some 1500 years ago and are sacred to both, Hindus and Buddhists.
Excavated in the 1500s, these caves are said to be one of the earliest Hindu cave temples in the country. The site houses a shrine of Lord Shiva and is shrouded in different legends. The most popular one says that this is where he performed the ‘Tandava’ – a powerful dance that celebrates creation, preservation, and destruction.
Within the caves are also four temples dedicated to Shiva, Hanuman, Ganesh and Yogeshwari Devi (also known as Goddess Durga). So, there’s a little bit of religion involved in these caves too!
Architecture And Carvings
On the walls of the caves are beautiful carvings of the Buddha along with other deities such as Hanuman, Ganesh, and Shiva. You can also find extravagantly carved pillars here that reflect Mahayana Buddhist architecture. Some of the carvings are similar to those found in the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves.
In Need Of Attention
The Archaeological Survey of India declared the Jogeshwari Caves a protected monument of national importance. Despite their significance, few people have heard of these caves. Lack of security and maintenance has caused their condition to deteriorate over time. Sure, the surrounding complexes are beautiful, but it has taken a toll on the caves.
Best time to visit
During the summer, the place can get quite hot, so evenings are ideal. On the other hand, winters are lovely as the weather is mild and perfect for taking a tour of the caves or just lounging around in the shade. If you are planning to visit with your family, we recommend you go during the weekend.
The caves see huge crowds during the festival of Mahashivratri, which occurs in February, so you might want to avoid visiting them at this time.
Address: Caves Rd, Gupha Tekdi, Jogeshwari East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400060.
Visiting hours: 6 am to 1:30 pm, 4 pm to 9 pm
Entry Fee: It’s free!
Plan ahead and rent a car for a weekend, which you can choose depending on your specific need and budget. That’s not all. You can get additional discounts when you use your debit card for the same. What are you waiting for? Plan your weekend now.
Feature photo source: Times of India