Karsamble monastery, (near) Khadsamble, Maharashtra, IN

Raw data

"Karsamble Caves are a group of 37 rock-cut structures located next to trade route from the ancient port of Chaul. Caves are located at complicated part of this route - next to mountain pass. There are rather many impressive Buddhist rock-cut caves in similar locations.
Caves were built approximately in 2nd century BC and were abandoned approximately at the late 5th century AD, when the port of Chaul declined.
The abandoned caves were noticed by H.Cousens in 1881, around this time caves were used as a shelter of Indian revolutionary Vasudev Balwant Phadke as well.
Description - Once upon a time Karsamble Caves were luxurious monasteries rich with contemporary artwork - sculptures and paintings.
The main cave is large vihara with chaitya. A hollow portion on the ceiling indicated that it contained stupa. Around the hall there were made several cells for monks.
Sometime later, after removal of stupa, the cave was enlarged. In the southern part of cave there was made large vihara with seventeen cells. There was made also vaulted chaitya-griha at the rear part - northern part of cave.
Another cave in this group contains two stupas. Still another cave contains remnants of painted plaster with bands of red, black and white color.
There is another group of rock-cut caves some 250 m from the main group. Locals call this group - Chamar Lena. One more rock-cut cave is located to the south-east from the main group, on the escarpment of Ganasurat hill."

"48. BUDDHIST CAVES, KHADSAMALA, DISTRICT RAIGAD.— The Buddhist caves at Khadsamala, first noticed in the year 1881 by H. Cousens and falling in the same geographic setting as Thanala, were visited by M. N. Deshpande of Nehru Centre, Bombay, along with R. G. Pandeya of the Survey. The main cave was cleared of the debris with the cooperation of the Survey and it was observed that the vihara-cum-chaitya cave has some features, similar to Cave 7 at Thanala. Fresh study revealed that the cave contained a stupa (indicated by the hollow portion on the ceiling to accommodate the anda portion and a hole in the centre thereof for the yashti and a few cells for monks. It was, however, enlarged after removing the stupa and the cells situated on the southern part of the cave and a large vihara with seventeen cells was fashioned together with a vaulted and astyler chaitya-griha into the rear of the cave, on the northern side. The cave had elaborate wood-work on the facade and partitions, of which indications by way of sockets exist both on the floor and the ceiling. Another cave containing two memorial stupas, and yet another having traces of painted plaster retaining bands of red, black and white colour were noticed. About a quarter kilometer from the main group, on the southern side another group of five viharas, locally called Chamar lena, was noticed. The frontage of these caves has suffered damage as a result of the fall of the rock-facade. There is vet another cave, not far from the main group, to its south-east in the rock escarpment of a hill, known as Ganasurat." (Mitra 1984:96-97)

"We can climb downward [from the Telbaila fort] to Pali area by Wazri pass to trip Sudhagad fort, Karsamble caves & Tanale caves. […] We can travel by bus from Lonavala to Bhamburde and come down at a Col for the Telbaila by the bus only 30 kilometres. Arrive at base of final rock wall by three kilometers walk by road."

"The Khadsamble Caves are 13 kilometres from Sudhagad and Dhangad. There are 21 caves in all and these also are said to date to the second centurty BC."
Input by: tmciolek, Apr 12, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 14 Jul 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 2 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Karsamble monastery, IN.

General location of the Karsamble monastery, IN.
Lat 18.5055 Long 73.3295
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Karsamble monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Maharashtra

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 18.5055 Long 73.3295 - based on the visual identification of the Khadsamble village in maps and satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 12 Apr 2012.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

  • Khadsamble - maps.google.com

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • Khadsamala - Mitra (1984:96-97)

8. The settlement's coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 18.5055 Long 73.3295 - based on the visual identification of the Khadsamble village in maps and satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 12 Apr 2012.

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • [missing data]

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 14 Jul 2013
<=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag 0467-99p - tmciolek 14 Jul 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

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

  • [missing data]

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