Karla caves is one of the two (other one being Bhaja caves) rock cut caves located near Lonavala (Pune) of Maharashtra. Geographically, it is situated at the northern side of Indrayani valley. The cave formation depicts Buddhism which was existing during 2nd to 7th century AD. There are sculptural arts on the walls of the caves and the roof is plain. In front of the temple, there is Sri Ekaveera temple. There is no fixed timings at this temple for Pooja.
The caves were the result of the work from many donators from various parts of sourthern part of India belonging to Maharajas, merchant, monks etc... Karla caves are declared as National Monuments from Archeological Survey of India.
Tourists have to climb steps to reach caves which are quite steep at some places. There are many local vendors found on the way selling several kind of sweets, Pooja articles, flowers etc… These shops will become the shelters during rainy season. It takes one hour for the Tourists to start from the parking area, climbing the steps, visiting the caves area and the temple and coming back to the parking place if the crowd at the temple is less. Front side interior part of the caves can be visited by the tourists.
Public wash rooms (toilets) are located at parking places and for ladies, wash rooms are also available at the top.
Visiting Karla caves can be planned during Lonavala trip.During holidays and festival season, the temple will be full of deities. Arrangements at the caves are good. The premises is neatly maintained. There is sufficient place in front of the cave. Better visit the temple after noon as the Sun light falls directly on the caves and looks better. Inside the temple arrangements are made to stand in que for the people for darshan.
Caves entry fee is INR 15 for Indians
INR 200 for foreigners
INR 25 for Video cameras (no fee for still cameras). Photography allowed inside the temple also.
Caves visiting time is
How to reach Karla Caves
Karla caves is 60 Kms from Pune railway station. By road proceed on old Mumbai-Pune highway ( From Pune side ) and take right turn at Malavli. Karla caves is just 6Kms from here. Vehicles cannot reach caves area. Visitors have to walk almost 1Km to reach the caves. There is vehicle fee (INR 10), Parking fee (INR 15).
There is no accommodation available near Karla caves. These caves can be visited during day time along with other places around Lonavala. Good Hotels are available at Lonavala ( 12 KM ) , Pune ( 60 KM ) or at Mumbai ( 100 KM )
Taxi to Karla Caves
You can hire a taxi from Lonavala or from Pune. Along with Bhaja caves other nearby caves and forts can be visited during half day tour program.