लेण्याद्री गणपती

Lenyadri Caves - Junnar Caves

Useful Information

Location: Lenyadri Ganapati Rd, Junnar, Maharashtra 410502.
From Junnar across the river on Kukadi River Bridge, then Lenyadri Rd 2.6 km to the Pandavas Archeological centre.
(19.243448, 73.887419)
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Lenyadri Caves, Lenyadri Ganapati Rd, Junnar, Maharashtra 410502, Tel: +91-, Fax: +91-,
Pandavas Archeological centre, Pune, Maharashtra 410502
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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लेण्याद्री (Lenyadri Caves) is a series of 40 temples carved into a cliff face, quite spectacularly in the middle of the cliff, so it is visible from some distance. According to legend the great Pandavas were living in agyatvas during their 13th year of exile, and they sculptured these caves in just one night. Actually they were created between the 1st and 3rd century AD as a Buddhist monastery. The name Lenyadri Caves is actually nonsense, as leni is simply the word for cave and adri for stone or meaning resistant in Marathi. So Lenyadri Caves actually translates Mountain Caves Caves. The original name is लेण्याद्री गणपती (Lēṇyādrī gaṇapatī) wich would be translated as Ganesha Mountain Cave.

The Shri Girijatmaj Lenyadri Ganapati is the only Ganesh Temple which is carved in caves. It is also the largest of the more than 200 ancient rock-cut temples in the area around Junnar. The antechamber is a huge rectangular chamber which is 18 m wide and has a flat ceiling, without a single pilar to support the ceiling. On three sides are doors to small rooms, 2 m by 3.5 m, which are interpreted as monk cells. The two cells in the middle were later transformed into a shrine. It is located in the 7th cave, in which Devi Parvati performed tapascharya for twelve years for the gain of a son. At the end Lord Ganesh himself came to her. There is an idol in the cave which is called Girijatmaj, where Girija is another name for Devi Parvati and Aatmaj means son, so the idol depicts the son of Devi Parvati she received with a little help by Lord Ganesh.

The temples are located north of Junnar city. From Junnar across the river on Kukadi River Bridge, then keep right onto Lenyadri Rd 2.6 km to the Pandavas Archeological centre. From here it's a 500 m walk uphill to the caves.