Pandavleni Caves in Nashik
History of Pandavleni Caves
The walls of the caves feature several beautifuls sculptures of deities. One can witness the ancient inscriptions which date back to 2000 years in Caves – 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19 and 20. Some of the caves are connected with one another by rock-cut ladders. In earlier times, these caves were served as Viharas or Monasteries. These caves are visited by many researchers and archaeologists to study and analyse about the caves.
According to the ancient inscriptions found in the caves confirmed that Nashik was ruled by three different kings namely the Kshatrapas, the Satavahanas and the Abhirs. Several sculptures found in the caves depict that at that time these three kings supported Buddhism. The inscriptions on the walls of Cave No. 10 indicate that the king Ksatrapas defeated the Satavahanas in 105-106 Century BC.
Interesting Facts of Pandavleni Caves
- Cave No. 3 is a Vihara which contains fine and elaborated details of Buddhism.
- Cave No. 10 is a Nahapan Vihara which features a spacious meeting hall with 16 cells. This is one of the oldest caves and contains several exquisite sculptures.
- Cave No. 15 features many inscriptions that mention about the last Sathvan King, Sri Yajna Satkarini. The cave was constructed in the early phase of 3rd Century AD. Inscriptions of the cave are the oldest in comparison with other inscriptions in Pandavaleni caves.
- Cave No. 16 is a high Vihara with 16 cells.
- Cave No. 17 is a Vihara along with shrine and cisterns. The inscriptions in the cave depict some Greek Indragnidatta and his son Dharmarakshit.
- Cave No. 18 is a Chaitya. The cave features elaborated facade and it is the oldest cave. Outstanding carvings and stupas are the major attractions in the cave. It also has two beautifully carved pillars with inscriptions which tell that cave was built by the Bhattapalika and Arahataya.
- Cave 20 features an impressive horseshoe arch and inscription which tells about the construction of the Chaitya. This Chaitya was a gift of villagers.