Asia: Rocky villages / The KONDAN CAVES

PHOTO: SWAGAT MAHAJAN 1849'41.87" 7323'36.69"

- Karjat, - , Rajmaci. (250 .. – 100 ). 100 , , . . . . . . . , . . - caitya, 66,5 , , . , 9,5 . . , , . , , . Karle, , . Bhaja.



Kondane about four miles south-east of the Karjat station, on the south-eastern branch of the Central railway and at the base of Rajmaci hill, has a group of early Buddhist caves (B.C. 250-A.D. 100). These caves were first brought to notice, about 100 years ago, by the late Vishnu Shastri, and soon after visited by Mr. Law, then Collector of Thana. They are in the face of a steep scarp hidden by thick forest. During much of the year water trickles over the face of the rock and has greatly damaged the caves. The caves face north-west. The first to the south-west is a large temple or caitya, 66½feet from the line of the front pillars to the back of the apse, twenty-six feet eight inches wide, and twenty-eight feet five inches high to the crown of the arch. The nave is forty-nine feet by fourteen feet eight inches, and the relic shrine 9½feet in diamete. with a capital of more than usual height, the neck being, as at Bhaja, double the ordinary height, and representing two coffers, one above the other, carved on the sides with the Buddhist rail pattern. The fillets that covered this are decayed, as are also the whole of the lower part of the relic shrine, of the thirty octagonal pillars that surrounded the nave, and of one of the irregular pillars in front. The space between the front pillars seems once to have been filled by a wooden wall. There are remains of seven pillars on the left of the cave, and of six on the south, all with an inward rake, a proof of the early date of the work. The pillars behind the relic shrine, and six near the front, on the right side have disappeared. On the upper portion of one column, on the left, is a device something like a rudely canopied relic shrine. The arched roof has had wooden rafters as at Karle, but they are gone, and the only remains of the woodwork is a portion of the latticed screen in the front arch. The front bears a strong likeness to the front of one of the caves at Bhaja. On the left side, in relief, is part of the head of a human figure about twice the size of life. The features are destroyed, but the head-dress is most carefully finished. Over the left shoulder is one line of Mauryan characters, of perhaps the second century B.C., which has been translated ' Made by Balaka, the pupil of Kanha.


30.08.2018 .

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24.08.2018 . , .

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