Tuesday, May 25, 2010

KANHERI CAVES



The caves, which are more than 100 in number, are reached from the Bhandup station of the Central railway or the Borivli station of the Western Railway by a good black topped road emanating from the Western Express Highway and passing through the National Park at Borivli. From Bhandup, 24 km. (fifteen miles) north-east of Bombay, the Kanheri road runs north-west for about a mile, formerly across rice fields and grass uplands, till, at the foot of the Salsette hills, it joins the old Bombay-Thane road. It then climbs a pass in the hills, and winds about a mile across the rugged upland of Vihar, the gathering ground of the Vihar lake, which, starting on the left, stretches about 8 km. (five miles) to the south-west, its surface broken by wooded islets. Beyond the Vihar gathering ground, the path passes, for about a mile, through a thick belt of forest, over the slightly raised watershed that separates the Tulsi and the Vihar valleys. Near Tulsi the road swerves to the left, keeping to the south-west of Tulsi lake, a beautiful sheet of water surrounded by wild forest-clad hills. For the two remaining miles, from Tulsi to Kanheri, the road though formerly not fit for carts is now black-topped and motorable. The first mile lies along the Vihar-Borivli road, with rises and falls, down the wooded Tulsi or Tasu valley, surrounded by high forest-clad hills, through glades of withered grass, thick copsewood, and bright green clumps of bamboos. The last mile is along a footpath that strikes from the Borivli road north to Kanheri.

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