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Pandavleni Caves

Pandavleni Caves, also known as Trirashmi Caves consists of a collection of Leni (caves in Marathi) believed to be a part of Hinayana Buddhist Caves which is more than 1200 years old. These caves were created by ancient Buddhist kings for popular saints so that they could live and meditate peacefully in these caves. These caves have emerged as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage destination. The name is associated with the legend of Pandavas of the Mahabharata.


The Pandavleni Caves is located approximately eight kilometers from south of Nashik in Maharashtra. It is merely five kilometers from the new bus stand and four kilometers from the Nashik highway bus stand.

The Caves have Inspiring Sculptures

The work of carving out these caves commenced in 4th century BC and is believed to have been completed in 12th century. Visitors to Pandavleni caves can get inspiration from the huge idols of Buddha and Bodhisattva. There are also awe-inspiring sculptures of famous figures like Jain Tirthankar Rishabh, Ambikadevi and Veer Manibhadraji.

According to historians, Pandavleni caves have no historical connection with the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. The caves display sculptures of Lord Buddha and Bodhisattva are locally identified as those of Pandavas and hence it is called Pandavleni in local lingo which it was given recently.

Some of these caves are inter-connected by complex designs created out of ladders cut from stone. These steps originate from the bottom of the hill and lead visitors to the caves. The peak of the Pandavleni Caves can be reached by trekking for about 20 minutes through steps but the path is dangerous and can be extremely tricky to negotiate.

Main Caves

Some of the caves are exceptionally huge and have multiple chambers. These caves have been cut from large rocks and serve as monasteries or Viharas monasteries where disciples gather to listen to words of wisdom from their masters. You can come cross sculptures that are interesting in structure and detailing. There is a Chaitya cave here too which has an elaborate façade that’s highly eye-catching. An ancient water management system chiseled out of hard rock very skillfully by artisans of those times is still actively functional in this area. There are several attractive water tanks too made of stones in the vicinity.

Each cave here has its own relevance and unique features. Cave 15 known as Sri Yajna Vihar has inscription about the last king of Satvahan, Sri Yajna Satkarni, who ruled over Western Maharashtra. There are inscriptions in other caves that mention popular names of saints of Maharashtra from the past. Cave number 10 is one of the largest and has 16 rooms. It is called the Nahapan Vihar.


The caves are open for visitors every day from 800 Hrs to 1730 Hrs. The entrance fee is INR 2 and free for children below 15 years of age. Entry is free for all on all Fridays.

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