Union Tourism & Culture Minister G Kishen Reddy inaugurates various amenities at Kanheri Caves on the occasion of Buddha Purnima


             Mumbai | 16 May 2022

The Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER) Shri G Kishan Reddy today inaugurated various tourist amenities at the Kanheri Caves located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park near Borivali.

 

“Kanheri caves are part of our ancient heritage as they provide evidence of evolution and our past. It is a privilege to inaugurate the works that have been carried out on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. Buddha‘s message is relevant even today in addressing challenges such as conflict and climate change ” said the Minister.

Shri Reddy added that it is the moral responsibility of every citizen to show interest and take responsibility for the preservation and preservation of our rich historical heritage. 

The Minister further said that Public-private partnerships, corporates and Civil Society organizations play an important role in protecting, preserving and propagating our heritage so that future generations can access these treasures.

The Indian Oil Foundation is involved in providing upgraded Tourist Infrastructure Facilities at Kanheri as part of MoU it has signed with the Archaeological Survey of India.

The existing buildings such as the visitor pavilion, custodian quarter, booking office have been up-graded and refurbished. The area from booking counter to custodian quarter has been beautified through landscaping.

As the caves fall in the core area of the forest, electricity and water supply are not available. However, arrangements for electricity has been made available through solar energy sources.

To facilitate visitor’s engagement and facilitation an Interpretation Centre has been set up highlighting outstanding features and uniqueness of principal caves with the help of eleven illustrative panels. The trail map of Kanheri is another important feature which helps visitors to save time. The Archaeological Survey of India is also working on 3D virtual tour of the entire monastic complex.

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 in the western outskirts of Mumbai.

They contain Buddhist sculptures and relief carvings, paintings and inscriptions, dating from the 1st century CE to the 10th century CE. The scale and extent of excavations, with its numerous water cisterns, epigraphs, one of the oldest dams, a stupa burial gallery and excellent rainwater harvesting system, indicate its popularity as a monastic and pilgrim centre.

Kanheri flourished under the patronage of Satavahana, Traikutakas, Vakatakas and Silaharas and through donations made by the wealthy merchants of the region.