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Timings : 6AM - 6PM

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : Indians- INR 15, Foreigners - INR 200

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Jogeshwari Caves, Mumbai Overview

Located in the heart of Mumbai, Jogeshwari Caves are one of the oldest cave temples in the whole of India and also the largest. These former Buddhist caves date back to the 6th century and have been home to Hindu and Buddist sculptures. There are various temples of Lord Hanuman, Shiva, Ganesha and of Goddess Jogeshwari (known as Kuladevi) within the caves and many locals worship them. The Jogeshwari Caves are popular amongst those with an eye for architectural beauty. The beautiful sculptures and the history that the place holds make them a must-visit for any history-lover.

The region in and around Jogeshwari Caves experience are victims of a tropical wet and dry climate and hence the summers around the area are extremely hot. Hence, the best time to visit Jogeshwari Caves is from October to mid-April. These caves, considering their limited popularity to locals and students looking for a quiet place to study, had been severely neglected by authorities until a few years back. Water and sewage filled the premises however, an ASI appointed agency now takes care of the caves and does a routine clean-up and a maintenance check. If you are a traveller that loves exploring places that are hidden, then Jogeshwari Caves are the place to be!

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History and Architecture

The Jogeshwari caves date back to around 520 BC. The caves that we see today are the last of the Mahayana Buddhist architecture structures, later taken by Hindus. Jogeshwari caves are at least 1,500 years old, excavated during the unearthing of Ajanta and Elephanta caves. They were formally known as Amboli caves. The caves are confined by rocks on both their sides. There are Buddhist shrines and temples in the caves because before the caves were actually built, there were Buddhist Shrines under the Vakataka Dynasty during the 1st century BC. The Hindu community living in that region were prompted to do the same and thus the temples came into existence.

The entrance to the caves has a flight of stairs leading visitors to the main hall of the immense space. This main hall has may pillars with a Lingam (a symbol of Shiva) at its ends. Six such pillars form the central section of the cave. Several idols of Hanuman, Ganesha, and Dattatreya line the walls. There are relics representing doormen. Not only this, but the cave also has footprints of Goddess Jogeshwari (Kuladevi) whom the area is named after. Goddess Kuladevi is worshipped by Gujrati Brahmins and also some Marathi people. There is also an idol of Goddess Kuladevi.

Things to do Around

  1. Mahakali Caves: At a 15 minutes distance from Jogeshwari caves, Mahakali Caves (also known as Kondivite Caves) is located in Andheri. Comprising of a group of 19 rock-cut monuments, it is the perfect place to go to after visiting the Jogeshwari Caves.
  2. Mandapeshwar Caves: At a 45 minutes distance from Jogeshwari caves, this 8th Century shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in Borivali, near Poinsur. They were originally Buddhist viharas and were soon occupied by the Brahmins. If you want to do a cave trail, Mandapeshwar Caves is the perfect place to visit after visiting both - Jogeshwari caves and Mahakali caves!
  3. Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Around 35 minutes away from Jogeshwari Caves, Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a scattered, forested home to Kanheri Caves, nature trails, and a lion & tiger safari. Plan a day trip, however, beware of the time as Sanjay Gandhi National Park closes at 5:30 pm.
  4. Chotha Kashmir: Around 25 minutes away from Jogeshwari Caves, in the green of Aarey Colony, lies Chotha Kashmir, a picnic spot and a relaxing recreational area that has a lake for paddle boats with your family, a carnival with rides for children & eateries.

How To Reach Jogeshwari Caves

Jogeshwari caves can be found in Jogeshwari (East) within a colony of Pratap Nagar near a busy flyover which is part of the Western Express Highway. It is easily accessed by public transport.
  • By Train: One can catch a local train to Jogeshwari railway station or Goregaon station from any place in Mumbai. On reaching there, visitors can either take a cab, a rickshaw or an auto rickshaw to the caves. It is about 3 km away from Jogeshwari station and is 4 km from Goregaon Station.
  • By Car: If coming from South Mumbai one can reach Jogeshwari Caves via Western Express highway. There are two routes via Western Express Highway - one from either Santacruz (taking Chembur Link Road) or by Andheri Kurla Rd/Magan Nathuram Road. If coming from North Mumbai, one has to take a route via SV road and Western Express Highway. A narrow passage, which was the entrance to the temple has now been converted into a parking space.

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