Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Quick trip to Bedse Caves: A Hidden Gem

I was planning for quick half day trip in monsoon. I decided to visit Bedse Caves as it is one of the few places less crowded and worth visiting.

I was the solo traveller for this trip.

Bedse Cave
Bedse Cave

About Bedse Caves:
Bedse Caves (also known as Bedsa Caves) are situated in Maval area, Pune District. Bedse Caves are comparatively less known and less visited. People know about the nearby Karla Caves and Bhaja Caves but have hardly heard of Bedse Caves. The trilogy of the caves (Karla - Bhaje - Bedse) in Mawal Region can't be completed without Bedse.

The routes to reach at Bedse Cave is Pune -> Chadani Chowk -> Old Mumbai-Pune highway (Do not take left turn to join express way) -> Kamshet village –> from main Chowk, take left –> Cross Expressway from underground tunnel –> Bedse village –> Take right from Bedse village –> Drive for 1.5 km to reach at the base.

Another route is Pune -> Chadani Chowk –> Pirangut –> Paud –> Take a right at Paud after Bus stand –> Hadashi (No need to take Hadashi temple route) –> Javan –> Pavananagar village -> Take right for Bedse village –> Drive for 1.5 km to reach at the base.

18th August, Bedse caves 2015: (Total Distance traveled: 139 km):
               I started journey at around 6 AM. In morning I decided to go for a half day trip. Always advisable to start the journey early morning so you can spend more time nearby the caves area. Also Bedse cave is east facing so prefer visiting in the morning time. I usually travel to Mumbai/Lonavala by Express highway so the old highway was a good change. Old Highway is in a good condition – it’s smooth and wide.
             I took left at Kamshet for caves. Cave is about 6km from highway. Weather condition was cloudy with light rain shower. Sometimes rain and sun were busy in their hide and seek game. Soon I reached at base village Bedse. From this point cave is hardly 1-1.5km. Around 100meter before cave, there is enough parking space. After parking the car, I began climbing to the cave. For caves, you have to take stairs route. The climb is steep and if you are not regular at exercise, you will definitely need to take at least one break. Due to an odd day, I was the only tourist there. Within 20-25 min without any break, I reached at the cave.

Steps To Bedse Caves
Steps To Bedse Caves

           The caves appear suddenly from one point on, and what you see is some fabulous architecture. The most impressive cave is right at the entrance, with open, horseshoe-arched entrance. The best known cave is the chaitya (prayer hall) with comparatively large stupa, the other cave is monastery - vihara. There are many small rooms around Vihar. There is also a small "Stupa" outside to the right of the main caves.

The Chaityagrha in the Bedse Cave
The Chaityagrha in the Bedse Cave

Stup at Bedse Cave
Stupa at Bedse Cave

Vihara at Bedse Cave
Vihara at Bedse Cave

            There are total 12 water trenches within the cave area. Locals say, rain water from rocky mountain drips into the trenches and it is perfectly filtered water. Even during summer, these trenches contain a lot of water. Entire place is a masterpiece of architectural design... as always one wonders how people must have built them in the 1st Century AD. 

Rooms at Vihara in Bedse Cave
Rooms at Vihara in Bedse Cave

At Bedse Cave

At Bedse Cave
At Bedse Cave

           After some research and information from the locals, I got to know very interesting fact about Bedse cave. The people (Buddha) who carved these caves followed one specific technique. After carving the cave, they use to remove all rocks which were in front of caves. Due to some unknown reason, Bedse cave was incomplete and hence rocks in front of cave aren’t removed. Due to these rocks, no one can spot the caves from distance or from the base. It has helped to retain Bedse cave in a good shape from Mughal or British attack. 

Bedse Cave Map

            There are few monk rooms above cave area but for that you need to climb a little bit. At the end of cave area, there are rock-carved steps which lead to few monk rooms. This route is closed/banned in monsoon. There is one waterfall which you need to cross. Route is highly slippery and if you miss single footstep then you may fall down causing fatal accident. I checked that route but skipped the rooms considering safety factor.

Bedse Cave Panorama...Clicked by iPhone
Bedse Cave Panorama...Clicked by iPhone 

            After spending an hour, I came down in 10 minutes. For return journey, I preferred Pavana – Paud route. From Pavana Nagar village, there are 2 routes; one goes to Lonavala and other to Pune. I drove few km towards Lonavala to enjoy the scenic view of Pavana dam. You can also spot the four fantastic forts from Maval area namely Lohagad fort, Visapur Fort, Tung Fort and Tikona Fort. After enjoying nature’s monsoon beauty, I reached home safely by 12.30 PM

Tung fort at Pavana Dam wall
Tung fort at Pavana Dam wall

Pavana Dam

Pavana Dam

Other places which you can combine with Bedse caves for Day picnic:
  • Bedse Cave – Karla Cave – Bhaje cave and Waterfall at the base of Bhaje cave
  • Bedse Cave – Karla Cave – Bhaje cave and Lonavala
  • Bedse Cave – Pavana Dam – Hadshi temple
  • Bedse Cave – Pavana Dam – Tikona / Tung Fort
  • Bedse Cave – Pavana Dam – Lonavala
Other related Blogs
Expense:
  • Car Petrol: INR 500/- (approx. 7 lit: INR 71/lit)
  • Toll on Old Pune-Mumbai highway: INR 30/- (one way)
Tikona Fort, Tung Fort, Pavana Dam and my Uber cool machine i20
Tikona Fort, Tung Fort, Pavana Dam and my Uber cool machine i20...

Fantastic Four: Tikona Fort, Tung Fort, Lohagad Fort and Visapur Fort

Thanks for reading this Travel Blog. Happy traveling.

Pritesh Kulkarni
Pune

2 comments:

  1. Hello pritesh...can v visit bedse caves alongwith trekking visapur fort and return to pune by the eve?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is possible if you have your own vehicle. Better to visit cave in morning as Caves are East facing caves.

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