Buddhist caves of Kondane situated on the mountain of Rajmachi (Karjat – Lonavala region). The Kondane caves enclose sculptures, vihara and stupas, specimens of ancient Buddhist architecture. Although there was an earth quake in the early 1900s many stupas, the front entrance and the floor of the caves were damaged. But what remains intact is the beatuful Chaitya that welcomes you to the rock cut caves that were created around 200 BC - 100BC.
The base village for Kondane caves is Kondhivade which is also the base for Rajmachi trek. It’s a 30 mins ride from Karjat station to the base village. We could see Dhak Bahiri and Palasdhari along with other mountain ranges on the way. There is nice river flowing by the village where you can have lot of fun after finishing the trek but be careful as its quite huge and can be risky at times. We enquired a villager for the route and started off for the trek.
Weather was very pleasant and the mountains were covered with fog. We could even see the Karjat – Pune railway route which climbs over the hills opposite to Rajmachi. Soon you will come across a board sign on left sign which says Kondane caves. The route goes from the right side of an Emu farm. The route now starts climbing up gradually and is nicely arrow marked. You can’t get lost here and hence there is no need of taking any villager for route guidance. After walking some distance you will come across 2 small streams from which one is quite spacious and has a nice waterfall.
We reached the steps of the Kondane caves in one hour. Route for Rajmachi goes from the right side of the steps. Its arrow marked and can be easily spotted. Rajmachi is a flat plateau having a small village and twin forts of Shrivardhan and Manoranjan.
How to get to Kondane Caves :
Take a rickshaw (You may charged Rs.150 - 200) from Karjat to Kondivade village and from Kondivade proceed to Kondane or Kharvandi village as from both these villages the Kondane caves are a one hour walk.