Chronologically 8th Chaitya Cave @Bedse, Kamshet
Chronologically this Chaitya cave comes to number 8th position.
Bedse Caves aka, Bedsa Caves are a group of rock-cut Buddhist mountain are situated in Bedse village of Maval taluka, Pune, Maharastra. The caves were formed in the Sahyadri range of Western Ghat mountains and currently maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Pune division. Based on the inscriptions and reliefs from the caves it is believed that the cave dated back to Satavahana period in the 1st century BCE.
In the cave complex there are two main portion, one is the Chaitya (prayer hall - Cave 7) form which is 8th position in the Chaitya Chronology formation and another one is the monastery form i.e. the Vihara.
The Chaitya is with a large Stupa and both the hall and stupa are well decorated with lots of reliefs. In the top of the stupa there is half-blooming form of a lotus which signifies the later ornamentation of this cave.
Though the capitals and bases of the pillars of Chaitya hall are not that much decorated but there areprofusion of decorative arch motifs in the Chaitya.
The walls of the entrance are full with reliefs and motifs which indicates the later skill development and richness of carvings to form the Chaitya.
On top of the pillars outside of the Chaitya hall you can notice the carvings of male and female figures, whereas both in a ridding position on a horse back. The female figure is well ornamented with different types of jewelleries. Basically the jewellery, such as the heavy weight of anklets, neckless and large ear rings of the figure resembles the wealthy situation of the donor.
Unlike the other Vihara caves of different location of the same period this Vihara is an arch formation, whereas the cells are arranged in semi-circular form. These caves are also situated in eastwards so it's better to visit in early morning where the sunlight plays a great role of source of light. The reddish yellow colour of the basalt rocks gives a mesmerising view.
Alike other chronological cave complex, here also you can see the paradigm of well managed water cistern on both sides of the entrance. In the left side of the above photo. During monsoon the water was reserved in those cistern to use further and this system was developed by well skilled architecture of rock carvings.
You can get a mind-blowing view of the caves during the monsoon as the hillocks are covered with the lush green look and the milky white waterfalls form as streams flow over a rocky ledge into a plunge pool of the cave complex. It's an unbelievable look of the approximately 2200 years ancient cave.
|The view of Bedse village from cave's verandah|
|The stairs to reach the cave.|
How to reach: Bedse is 9 km off from Kamshet Rail station. You need to hire an auto rickshaw to visit Bedse cave from the station. I went to this cave along with the Karla Cave which is a walkable distance from Malavli rail station.
Mostly all the caves are near to Lonavla zone, so can take the Pune-Lonavla local train and get down at Malavli station. The Bhaja and Karla Caves are in walkable distance from Malavli station, though both are situated just opposite each other. You can hire an auto rickshaw to visit these caves too.
|The Kamshet rail way station.|
By car you can go directly to the caves via Pune-Mumbai expressway or via National Highway 66.