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Pandu Lena

Pandu Lena

Pandu Lena
Pandu Lena

Pandu Lena caves are situated near the Nashik city of India, at a distance of only 8 km towards its south. They are one amongst the numerous Buddhist Caves built in the country during the flourishing days of the religion and are twenty four in number. The caves date back to the time period between 1st century BC and 2nd century AD. Amongst all the caves situated at Pandu Lena, also known by the name of Pandavleni, the most significant ones comprise of those numbered eighteen and twenty.

All these caves are viharas (monasteries), with the exception of cave 18, and are counted amongst the oldest structures situated in the vicinity of Nasik. Another name for the Pandu Lena Caves is Trirashmi Leni, based on the name of the Trirashmi Leni Hills amidst which they are situated. These caves were built by the Jain kings, as home for the Jain saints. Cave 3 is a huge vihara, which has been adorned with a few magnificent sculptures. Cave 10, though older than cave 3 and with more intricately carved sculptures, looks almost identical to the latter.

Cave 18 comprises of a Chaitya Hall and is believed to have been built around the same time as the Karla Caves. The cave boasts of splendid sculptural designs and has a beautifully ornamented portico. It houses magnificent idols of Buddha and Bodhisatva, along with the icons of Jain Teerthankara Vrishabhdeo, Veer Manibhadraji and Ambikadevi. Other notable features comprise of skillfully chiseled water tanks. Though more than 2000 years old, Pandu Lena Caves are definitely worth having a look at.

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