Bhaja monastery, (towards) Lonavale, Maharashtra, IN

Raw data

There are 22 caves at this site, which is located 3 km from the Malavli railway station (on the Bombay - Poona line), about 9 km by road from the village of Lonavla. (I've been to this site.) It is an early site, likely second century BCE and was occupied up until about the 4th century CE. It was hard to be sure but it looked like aprox. 75 monks would have been in residence.

See D.C. Ahir, Buddhist Sites and Shrines in India: History, Art and Architecture (Delhi: Inian Books Centre, 2003) p.191.
Input by: SG Mar 31, 2009

Bhājā, Maharastra; excavated cave monastery. 100 BCE - Huntington & Chandrasekhar (2000:57)

Lonavale, India Page
Other names: Lonavla,Lonavala,Lonsvala,Lonāvale,Lonauli,Lonāvla
World:India:State of Maharashtra
Latitude 18.7500 Longitude 73.4167
Input by: tmciolek Apr 2, 2009

"Karla and Bhaja Caves
About 15 km outside Lonavla (on the way to Pune) are several Buddhist rock-cut caves and forts worth visiting. From Lonavla you can take an auto or local train to Malavli Station. From Malavli, Bhaja lies on the right side of the tracks and Karla on the left (when facing Pune). From the station you may walk or catch another auto to the base of either of these caves.
[…] Exactly opposite the Karla ridge lie the Bhaja Caves. From Malavli Station walk 3 km to Bhaja Village, from where it’s an easy climb up to the caves. Bhaja Caves date back to the 2nd century BC. The rock-cut architecture here is beautiful and better preserved than Karla."
Input by: tmciolek Apr 16, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 27 Dec 2012

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Bhaja monastery, IN.

General location of the Bhaja monastery, IN.
Lat 18.7350 Long 73.4792
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20IN)&ll=18.7350,73.4792&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Bhājā monastery - Huntington & Chandrasekhar (2000:57)

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Maharashtra

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 18.7350 Long 73.4792, based on the visual recognition of Bhaja site in satellite images, - tmciolek, 16 Apr 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • 300 - 200 BCE
  • 100 BCE - Huntington & Chandrasekhar (2000:57)
  • MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 27 Dec 2012
  • <=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32p 0333-66p 0367-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • 4th century CE - Ahir (2003:191)
  • MBM chrono-tag 0300-32p 0333-66p 0367-99p - tmciolek 27 Dec 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Archaeological

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data](incl. details of the size of the monastic population)
  • approximately 75 monks (from observation of number and type of cells)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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