The Bhaja Caves are located in a hill station in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. These Buddhist shrines were carved out of the mountain face here as far back as the 2nd century BC, providing a fascinating insight into Buddhist culture at that time.
The Bhaja Caves share architectural features with the Karla Caves situated nearby, but are usually less busy to stroll around and explore. The most impressive feature of the Bhaja Caves is its large chaitya (prayer hall), believed to be one of the earliest of its type and featuring a horseshoe-shaped entrance and depictions of Indian mythology.
Also of interest at the caves are the numerous stupas situated both inside and outside. These are the relics of resident monks who died at Bhaja and their names and respective titles are inscribed upon them.
The Bhaja Caves are located in Maharashtra, approximately a two-hour drive from Mumbai. While many choose to visit the Bhaja Caves as part of a day tour from Mumbai, thereby also taking in the other significant caves in the area, they can also be reached via public transport; frequent local buses run from nearby Lonavala to the Karla and Bhaja caves, with the first of the day leaving at 6am.