The caves date back to 1st century BC and are believed to be one of the oldest cave formations of the country. The Kanheri Caves are renowned for their natural Basalt formations, ancient Indian styled architecture and the 109 special entrances to the caves. The word Kanheri originates from the Sanskrit term 'Krishnagiri'. Each cave here, unlike the other caves in the country, is adorned with a 'splinth' or a rock bed. Congregation halls with large stupas also indicate that the caves were Buddhist shrines and a focal point during the Buddhist settlement in the 3rd century. The Kanheri Caves became a distinctive Buddhist institution for congregational worship, study and meditation.Spanning from the 1st century BC to 11th century AD, an era that saw the rise and decline of Buddhism, these caves present an insight into its evolution and also have the distinction of having the largest number of cave excavations from a single hill.
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