Junnar monastic cluster, (near) Junnar, Maharashtra, IN

Raw data

Junnar was the largest Buddhist monastic establishment in Maharashtra from about 100 BCE to 300 CE, after which it was abandoned. The site is located on three hills surrounding the small town of Junnar and consists of about 200 caves, plus nearly 200 more small caves used by individual monks. All are Hinayana and have no representations of the Buddha. Most of the monastery accommodations were small, 7-12 monks. A guess might put 1000 monks at this site. There are a host of donative inscriptions that will be useful in Phase II.

See D.C. Ahir, Buddhist Sites and Shrines in India: History, Art and Architecture (Delhi: Inian Books Centre, 2003) p.192 - 193.

Src: IN
Input by: SG Mar 31, 2009

Dehejia, Vidya. Early Buddhist caves at Junnar. Artibus Asiae, Vol. 31, No. 2/3 (1969), pp. 147-166 [www.jstor.org/pss/3249428] (v. Aug 2009]

Junnar, India Page
Other names: Shivner
World:India:State of Maharashtra
Latitude 19.2000 Longitude 73.8833
Input by: tmciolek Apr 1, 2009

"Junnar caves are situated in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. They lie at a distance of approximately 177 km from the city of Mumbai, on the Mumbai-Aurangabad route. There are three major groups of caves in the hills surrounding Junnar plains, of which the most prominent ones are Tulija Lena and the Ganesh Lena. All of the Junnar caves, situated in India, were founded somewhere between 2nd Century BC and 3rd Century AD.
The first group of caves, the Tulija Lena, consists of the Chaitya hall, adorned with a circular dome ceiling. The second group is situated near the Manmodi hills is archaeologically quite significant. Archaeologists visit these caves on a frequent basis, to testify the sculptures and images in the caves. The third group of caves, known as Ganesh Lena, is approximately 4 km to the south of Junnar. This group consists of a number of small cells and viharas, with most popular ones being the Chaitya Cave No. 6 and the Ganesh Lena Vihara."

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 29 Apr 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Junnar monastic cluster, IN.

General location of the Junnar monastic cluster, IN.
lat=19.2000 long=73.8833
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Junnar monastic cluster

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Maharashtra

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

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

  • 100 BC - Ahir (2003:192-193)
  • MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 29 Apr 2013
  • <=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • 300 AD - Ahir (2003:192-193)
  • MBM chrono-tag 0300-32p - tmciolek 29 Apr 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • The cluster comprised 200 caves for 7-12 monks each, plus nearly 200 more small caves used by individual monks.
  • Therefore, a total monastic population was approx. 1,000 strong - Ahir (2001:192-193).

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

  • [missing data]

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