Tuesday Jun 18, 2024

Mandapeshwar Shiva Caves – Maharashtra

Address

Mandapeshwar Shiva Caves Shivaji Nagar, Marian Colony, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400103

Diety

Mandapeshwar

Introduction

The Mandapeshwar Caves, an 8th-century rock-cut shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, are located near Mount Poinsur in Borivali, a suburb of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra, India. These caves have significant historical and cultural importance.

  1. Location: The Mandapeshwar Caves are situated near Mount Poinsur in Borivali, a suburban area of Mumbai. They are known for their rock-cut architecture and the sculptures dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  2. Historical Significance: These caves are believed to have been built around 1500 to 1600 years ago, approximately during the same period as the Jogeshwari Caves (constructed between 520-550 CE). The caves are known for their rich history and the rock-cut artwork found within.
  3. Buddhist Monks and Persian Painters: The caves are believed to have been initially created by Buddhist monks. Subsequently, they hired traveling Persian artists to paint the caves. These painters were instructed to depict the life of Lord Shiva. The name “Mandapeshwar” is said to mean “Mandap Pe Eshwar,” signifying the “Hall of painting of Lord.”
  4. Sculptures: The caves contain numerous sculptures, including those of Lord Shiva in various forms, such as Nataraja and Ardhanarishvara. There are also statues of other deities like Ganesha, Brahma, and Vishnu. The sculptures depict the mythological tales and stories of Hindu gods and goddesses.
  5. Glorious Past: The caves have witnessed various phases of history, including the use of the caves by soldiers during times of war, as well as by refugees. Over the years, the monolithic paintings and artwork in the caves were defaced and damaged.
  6. Rediscovery and Preservation: The Mandapeshwar Caves were rediscovered at a later time and are now under the protection of the Indian Archaeology Society. Despite the damage and destruction they have endured over the centuries, the caves remain as archaeological heritage sites.
  7. UNESCO World Heritage: The Elephanta Caves, which also feature similar sculptures, were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The sculptures in the Mandapeshwar Caves are considered to be part of this rich artistic and cultural tradition.

The Mandapeshwar Caves offer a glimpse into the artistic and religious history of the region, with their rock-cut sculptures and depictions of Hindu deities. While the caves have been through various periods of use and neglect, they remain an important archaeological and cultural heritage site in Mumbai.

Century/Period/Age

1600 Years old

Managed By

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Nearest Bus Station

Mount Poinsur

Nearest Railway Station

Borivali Station

Nearest Airport

Mumbai

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