Bedse Caves — A 2300 Year Old Buddhist Monument Created by Samrat Ashok

This place is so untold and untouched that even many local villagers don't have information about it! This was the second time I headed for this ancient man-made cave structure, on February 08 2009. The first time I went there was on June 11 2006. The place hasn't changed a bit, just as the last 2300 years. This time I went with my wife. She's quite fascinated by the caves, and ancient times, and I decided to take her to the most peaceful ancient place around — the Bedse Caves.

Samrat Ashok the Great (also spelled Asok, Ashoka, Asoka, etc.), after the battle of Kalinga, realized how wrong he was, and what a misery his acts were till time. He left his Maurya Empire, and followed Buddhism. He created many meditation places for the Buddhist Monks, one of which is Bedse.

Here are some of the photographs that the little poor me managed to take at the Mighty place. Mighty, not just in size, but also at the feeling it can give to you once you enter there.
Chaitya of Bedse Caves [The main hall of Bedse Caves]
This is the main meditation hall (called Chaitya). You must be there to see how beautifully it has been constructed. The light (at any day time) perfectly reaches and highlights the Stup (also spelled Stupa) — the main circular, top dome-shaped structure.

I took many photographs of this wonderful place. Following are some of them…

Steps to reach the peaceful Buddhist caves of Bedse

The last few steps to reach the entrance of the Bedse Caves

Notice by the Archaeological Survey of India for protecting the ancient Buddhist Bedse Caves created by Samrat Ashok

The entrance to the Chaitya [main hall] of Bedse Caves

Opening for entrance of light to reach inside the Chaitya [main hall] of Bedse Caves

The base of the Stup [AKA Stupa] inside Chaitya [main hall] of Bedse Caves

Pillars, and carvings on the outer walls of Bedse Caves

Sculpture on the top end of a pillar of Bedse Caves

Incomplete work of a rest room of the monks of Bedse Caves

A hall with rest rooms lined on for the monks of Bedse Caves

A monk in the state of deep withinself looking for inner peace through meditation at Bedse Caves

Window-like carving on the inner walls of the hall with rest rooms at Bedse Caves

Sculptures made at the head ends of the pillars of Bedse Caves

Door of a rest room for the monks of Bedse Caves

The Stup [AKA Stupa] inside the Chaitya [main hall] of Bedse Caves as seen from its base

The Stup [AKA Stupa] inside the Chaitya [main hall] of Bedse Caves

80 comments :

  1. I was already enchanted by that first pic that blended so mysteriously to the black, but there was so much more! Thanks for the cave journey.

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  2. Really fascinating this old culture! You should have showed your wife in one of the pcitures, (also) to get an impression of the size! :-)

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  3. What a beautiful place , thanks for sharing , beautiful shots !

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  4. GREAT SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS!!!! I love reading the text, everything... Hope you have more to post on this. I love the one with the monk.

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  5. Wow! This place is just stunning! You have such fantastic monuments in your country! I have to come back to know others parts of India.
    The 1st shot is brilliant. Love this post.

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  6. I liked the term "Cave Journey" chrome3d :)

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  7. I have more photographs and more information on this Sandy. I'll try to update the post if I get a chance. I may not have access to the Internet from tomorrow evening for 4-5 days.

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  8. You are very welcome JM. Whenever you visit India, be sure to contact me. I will show you places you would have never imagined. Well, even though people suggest visiting India between September and December, I believe, it is way more beautiful from mid-June to mid-August, especially the part we live in — the Sahyadri Mountain Range. We call it monsoon season here. That period is extremely rainy, and special precautions must be taken.

    This invitation is for all of you good fellows out there :)

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  9. This was a wonderful post, Bhavesh..

    a real tour of the place..and what photos, dear..like i felt the texture of those rocks and carvings!

    I envy your skill, and pray God bless you with more :)

    wishes,
    devika

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  10. I did enjoy this fascinating look at the Bedse Caves. All of the stone carving is amazing to see and one has to wonder how hard the work was and how long it must have taken to finish.

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  11. Really Mr Lincoln. I too kept wondering the same, and could reach on any calculation on their strength and skills.

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  12. this was an incredible journey - amazing to know that you have seen it, and thanks for sharing. it isnt always easy to travel, but armchair blog travel is a nice way to see the world without too much discomfort

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  13. Oh! That term is so great! — "Armchair Blog Travel". I'm happy that you liked the journey.

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  14. Very interesting place to visit. Spectacular photos! Thanks for sharing.

    Paz

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  15. What an amazing place and I'm totally inspired :D It is so sacred and peaceful, thanks pal.

    Btw, yes we did the coast to coast in America but flew from San Francisco to NY before exploring the rest of the States.

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  16. My pleasure Shionge :)

    Your coast to coast travel in America must be a very enjoyable experience! How did you manage? I would like to read through :)

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  17. This is magnificent. What a beautiful and awe inspiring structure. I'm so glad I stopped by.

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  18. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog!!

    Your pics are amazing, I love them!!

    Oh, its real and you should watch it lol!

    Have a lovely weekend :)

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  19. Thanks for visiting my blog too and for your nice comment. I like the the term "armchair blog travel" too--how appropriate. Hope you'll visit me again. Great pictures!

    Rhonda

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  20. Majestic, amazing, artful! You have done an excellent job of capturing the beauty here.

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  21. I too am glad Janie that I got to see your blog. I like Utah, and you have some great photographs from there.

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  22. Thank you Dana. And… best of luck for your new task. I am happy that you could finally quit the job you didn't actually like, and are working on the right one :)

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  23. I feel so appreciated Gail. Thank you :) I believe that a person produces excellent results in the work he does as a hobby, not as a job :)

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  24. Absolutely gorgeous and remarkable! Place and photos. I loved the surprise of the monk photo too. I wish I could touch the pillars.

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  25. The post remeinds me of Kanheri Caves, Mumbai.

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  26. Your photographs show that this is truly a wonderful place. You did a great job by hitting this place.

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  27. These are such beautiful images. The first one of the meditation chamber is awesome. ..you could feel the chill of the stone. I also liked the monk, the splash of colour against the stone.

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  28. beautiful photographs. thank you so much for the tour of bedsa. have yet to visit these beautifulk caves. have visited karla and bhaja.

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  29. Fantastic! I enjoy these ancient places, a true treasure.

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  30. Wonderful, this virtual visit to a breathtaking temple. Thank you for sharing it with all of us around the world!

    Marilyn

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  31. This was beautiful amazing and fascinating Bhavesh. The work that went into these caves is of unfathomable proportions. I would love to see this in person.

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  32. The monk was a surprise for me also Ruth. I had a brief chat with him that day. And yes, touching those pillars was an unexplainable experience.

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  33. Where are the Kanheri caves exactly in Mumbai Mr Hobo? Are those too the Buddhist creation?

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  34. Thanks Deepak. It was really a "Hit" :)

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  35. Thank you angela. Yes, the stone gave such chill feeling. It was a completely unique experience.

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  36. Hi magiceye,

    These caves are very near to the Karla and Bhaja caves, but people are not aware about these, probably because these are not as advertised as the Karla and Bhaja caves. In fact, due to the less number of visitors to the Bedse, it is more beautiful than the Karla and Bhaja caves.

    Oh! And a wonder, you know the other term used — Bedsa :)

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  37. Borivali National Park.
    Swami Vivekananada visited.

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  38. Oh! I thought Borivali National Park (Or Sanjay Gandhi National Park as formally named) is just a normal sanctuary. I didn't know it has man-made caves!

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  39. Yes Dusty Lens, it's really a true treasure!!!

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  40. Hello Janice,

    As I said to JM, all of you are very much welcome. Whenever you visit India, I will take the pleasure of taking you to this place.

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  41. Fantastic shots! I think I can feel a bit of the spirit of the place, it is magnificent...Im sure I would have a hard time leaving - hope you get to go there again some day, Cheers!

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  42. Sure Lavender. As this place is just 40 kms from my home, I can anytime visit it. I have invited all the friends who have commented to visit this place; whenever any of you visit India, do contact me if you wish to see this magnificent place.

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  43. Amazing! What a wonderful place. Ancient places like this are so interesting and to see something in such good condition that old is terrific.

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  44. It is really terrific Mary. We enjoyed that place too much :)

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  45. Great photo report. Looks like a very tranquil place, which one would visit with the utmost respect.

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  46. You're right Marc, this tranquil place gives a unique experience that all the visitors must find respectable.

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  47. You did an amazing job of conveying that mighty feeling through your camera lens. Your photos took my breath away. I'm looking forward to a time when I can start traveling and experiencing places like the Bedse Caves in person. For now, visiting vicariously through my friends is very nice. Thank you. :)

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  48. That's such a nice comment Tantra Flower :) I read that you follow Buddhism also. So this post must have been of high importance for you :)

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  49. Also Tantra Flower, if you have not read the comments above, I have invited all of you to visit this beautiful monument :) Whenever you plan to visit India, do contact me. In fact, I did take 2 friends there 3 days back — March 02 2009. I have posted a photo from there at My Spirit in Bedse

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  50. Beautiful snaps. This is definitely there in my hot list. Some information on how to reach this place will help.

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  51. It's easy to reach there. Just catch the old Mumbai-Pune highway after crossing Lonavala. When you reach Kamshet, take the right turn looking for Bedse village board after 5 kms. Take right from there, or ask any villager :) Let me know if I can be of any further help.

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  52. I can really get a sense of how massive these structures are through looking at your photos. I love the sculpture & stonework & I can tell the Monk in meditation is truly serene.
    Thank you also for your kind words regarding the loss of my cat Sylvia.
    I hope you have a great weekend.

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  53. such an amazing place you have captured with your images. Ancient beauty.

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  54. Bhavesh: Truly a wonder to the eye, I feel like I have visited this place with you, Thanks for the trip through the structure.

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  55. Your photos are exceptionally beautiful - Thank you for visiting & commenting on my blog!

    Have a wonderful weekend

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  56. Very impressive ! what an architecture !

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  57. Very interesting and great documentary pictures, thanks for sharing

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  58. thanks for the tour. :)

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  59. WOW! some very impressive pictures, I'd love to see it all in person!

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  60. Beautiful place and great photographs. A work of art.Thanks for showing it Bhavesh.

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  61. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. This place seems magnificent and steeped in so much devotion. Very beautiful!!

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  62. This is an amazing place, Bhavesh, which I have never seen or heard of till now. Thank you for showing this to us!

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  63. simply fantastic and informative.. gave a feeling of a visit to that place...

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  64. Well, this is some find! I absolutly love this magnificant structure..especially chisled out of rock! Very impressive and so are your angles and details for this post- Terrific share-

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  65. This is a beautiful place inside and outside. Those carvings are great. Thanks for sharing your photos for other to enjoy. Helen

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  66. What an amazing place this is, Bhavesh. I am afraid so much that is special, I will have difficulty seeing. You know, for the most part, I am using a rolling walker ( with a seat ) to get about and stairs are difficult for me. With the seat, I can rest when I get tired. I would certainly try, one step at a time, to get up to see a treasure such as this...but would not my walker be stolen if left outside to wait for me. It is terrible to be mistrustful but, believe me, here in my own area, I'd return to find it gone and that would make the rest of my time in India very difficult for me. Growing old is certain fraught with difficulties!

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  67. @ RNSANE: It will be too early for me to say anything, but my personal belief is that old age comes with old mindset. If you have the zeal, you can even fly.

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  68. Anonymous29 July, 2012

    Great pics absolutely facinating. would love to visit the place.

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  69. The ancient Mahavansa of shrilanka has mention of Bedse.It says that the sangha heŕe had the revenue of the vilages donated by the king.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! That's quite a new information! Thank you so much Pandharinath! :)

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