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Bedse Caves

Bedse Caves near Pune - A 2300 Year Old Buddhist Monument

Bedse Caves which is also popularly known as Bedsa Caves is a 2300 year old Buddhist monument and is considered to be one of the oldest caves in the state of Maharashtra and is located in the Maval taluk of Pune district. Amongst the tourists, the Karla and Bhaja Caves near Pune have more exposure than the Bedse Caves. Hence this place is less crowded than the other touristy locations.

This is one of the best reasons to visit this place and get the feel of the peace and serenity which is the character of this beautiful location. These caves are located 40 km from Pune to the Bedse Village followed by a thirty minute walk from the village. In fact, the hike to the caves can be considered to be quite pleasant and relaxing feels like walking amidst nature.


The Bedse caves are one of the lesser known places near Pune. The place is so untouched that even the natives of this place are not aware of the existence of this place. These ancient caves were built 2300 years ago by the Emperor Ashoka popularly known as “Ashoka the Great”. Emperor Ashoka, the ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, ruled from the period of 269 BC to 232 BC. During this period, most of the Indian subcontinent came under his rule.

According to many historians, the battle of Kalinga was considered to be an eye opener for Emperor Ashoka. Even though he won the war, he was seized by intense sadness and self-loathing after looking at bloodshed and the bodies strewn all over the battlefield. When he saw the Daya river flow red because of all the blood, it made him realize the depth of his mistake and decided to spend the rest of his life trying to atone for this.

After the battle, Emperor Ashoka turned a new chapter in his life and took a vow never to carry arms and turned to Buddhism for peace. For the rest of his rule, he dedicated himself to his Buddhist faith and practiced non-violence or Ahimsa. During this period, he built numerous places for meditation and prayer halls for the Buddhist monks helping them promote non-violence, some of which still stand today. Bedsa caves are one such place built by Ashoka.

Architecture of the Caves

The history of the Bedse caves dates back to the 1st century BC. It primarily constitutes two caves that are facing eastwards along with numerous rock-cut beds, these beds are called the ‘viharas’. In the ancient times when these caves were inhabited, the viharas comprised of nine smaller cells that served as dwellings for the early Buddhist monks.

According to legend, these Buddhist monks were known as the Bhiku and often stayed in the viharas during the monsoon, which was around 4 months every year. Hence the viharas came to be called earlier as the rain caves or Vasha Viharas. According to historians, the world famous Buddhist poetic scripture and enlightening “Therigatha” consisting of religious content on Buddhism was written by these monks.

Since, the caves are remote and are not widely visited, it would be safer to visit the caves during sunrise. Also, as the caves are facing eastward, the beauty of the carvings and the inscriptions are more enhanced when it is viewed early in the morning.

Of the 2 caves, ‘Chaitya’ is the main cave. It served as a prayer hall for the Buddhist monks and has an absolutely stunning Stupa inside it. Both the caves, the Viharas and the Chaitya, exhibit astounding and breath-taking stone carvings and architecture. There are five columns designed with simple jewels.

There are numerous ancient inscriptions in the caves left by their benefactors. The cave entrance is constructed using two pillars and two columns, each one of these columns are beautified and sculpted with humans and deities with animals like the bull, the horse or the elephant.

The Chaitya is a very aesthetically constructed cave and a beauty in itself. The Stupa inside the chaitya is so exquisite and beautiful that it almost touches the ceiling, the light of the sun at all times of the day falls and perfectly reaches and highlights the Stupa which is circular and is shaped like a dome in Chaitya.

Apart from the two caves, there are a lot of minor caves with an additional cave that is primarily meant for meditation. The entire area is cooled naturally by the spring-water tanks that are placed below the caves give a cooling effect. It is also said these caves were used by travelers to store some of their wares.


By Air

The Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai is the nearest airport which is 110 km from Kamshet. Pune domestic airport is 60 km away from Kamshet.

By Rail

The nearest railhead is Lonavala railway station. It is connected to Mumbai and Goa. And is about 16 km to Kamshet is about 16 km

By Road

Many Government buses of Maharashtra are operating between Kamshet and many cities nearby. Along with this there are many state owned bus services to Bordi from nearby cities

Best Time to Visit

The Bedse caves in Kamshet can be visited is all year round but the Best season to visit here is October to May.

  • Summers (March to April): Warm temperatures varying from 25°C and 40°C.
  • Winters (December to February): Moderate temperatures varying between 10°C to 26°C.
  • Monsoons are pleasant and beautiful and you can see waterfalls in and around.

Accommodation in and around the Bedse Caves

There are several decent accommodations available near Kamshet and there are MTDC resorts around Karla and Rye Woods.

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Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2

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