Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER inaugurates amenities at ancient Kanheri Caves on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.
- The Kanheri Caves are a group of caves and rock-cut monuments cut into a massive basalt outcrop in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, on the former island of Salsette in the western outskirts of Mumbai.
- The Kanheri caves comprise more than 110 different rock-cut monolithic excavations and is one of the largest single excavations in the country.
- These excavations were primarily undertaken during the Hinayana phase of Buddhism but also has several examples of the Mahayana stylistic architecture as well as few printings of the Vajrayana order.
- The name Kanheri is derived from ‘Kanhagiri’ in Prakrit and occurs in the Nasik inscription of the Satavahana ruler Vasisthiputra Pulumavi.
- They contain Buddhist sculptures and relief carvings, paintings and inscriptions, dating from the 1st century CE to the 10th century CE.
- Kanheri was mentioned in the travelogues of foreign travellers.
- The earliest reference of Kanheri is ascribed to Fa-Hein who visited India during 399-411 CE.