(Last Updated on : 01-04-2015)
Jogeshwari caves are located at the center of Jogeshwari, a suburb in Mumbai
. Jogeshwari caves date back to 520 to 550 CE. It was formerly known as Amboli cave named after the Amboli
village. Located near the Western Express Highway, the site of these caves is one of the sacred places for Hindus
in Mumbai. Jogeshwari caves are known to be the first and largest Hindu as well as Buddhist temple
caves in India. The entrance to Jogeshwari caves is surrounded by rocks on both sides. The caves are named after Goddess Jogeshwari, who is considered a Kuladevi to some Gujarati Brahmins.
The Jogeshwari temple caves which have now become a bit perished were once very beautiful and adorned, Brahminic temple which was constructed in 8th Century. Still Jogeshwari caves attract lots of tourists from round the world.
History of Jogeshwari Caves
The caves were developed about 1500 years ago. The construction of Jogeshwari caves had initiated after the work in Ajanta caves
came to a halt. Many years ago in Maharashtra
, massive construction of temples took place. The number of these temples was very huge. In first and second century B.C., the Buddhist shrines were being developed under the leadership of Vakataka Dynasty
Later in the 6th century, the Hindu community in same region also adopted this tradition of creating cave temples. And then later certain artisans from Ajanta went west and the construction of first Indian temple cave, which is Jogeshwari caves, was initiated.
Architecture of Jogeshwari Caves
The past architectural glory of the cave temple can be witnessed in the relics of two door men at the entrance and the ornate carvings. A number of stairs lead to the entrance, which opens into a main hall containing several pillars, a shrine and a Lingam at the end. The cave has various engraved portraits and sculptures on the walls. These sculptures have been engraved very beautifully. There are 6 pillars on each side forming a sort of central section. In the middle of the pillars is situated the temple in which shrine is present. The pillars act as a boundary for the temple. The walls are lined by Idols of Jogeshwari, Dattatreya, Mata, Hanuman
and other gods and goddesses are placed in small chambers around the cave. The cave has an idol as well as footprints of goddess Jogeshwari. These caves are endangered. They are also infested with bats.
The porch has giant figures engraved on the side walls. On the wall above, figures of Lord Shiva
in a seated position is present with the left side having figures of marriage proceedings of Lord Shiva. The porch has a length of about 30 feet. The beauty of Jogeshwari caves lies in its beautiful engravings and the imaginations turned into reality on the walls of the cave temple. Just above the caves there exists a playground which is being utilized for recreational activities.
Best Time to Visit Jogeshwari Caves
Tourists can plan a trip in months of January to June and again from October to December. Mumbai basically experiences temperate weather conditions hence visiting Jogeshwari caves during these months will be a pleasant experience.
Accessibility to Jogeshwari Caves
The airport which is nearest to Jogeshwari is Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport
. The airport is about 5.8 km from the tourist spot. There are 2 railway stations which lead to Jogeshwari caves. Tourists can either drive to the temple, or take a cab, bus or an auto rickshaw from Jogeshwari railway station located at a distance of 3 km.