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Bedse Caves – Outdoor Craving Appetizer

Casual mornings can have active afternoons like how the weather can sans notice. Last weekend we realized that the monsoons had finally come in full stead and as a family who treks religiously during this season decided to inaugurate it with a short hike.

Taking off at half past one we headed towards Talegaon.

An hour’s drive from Pune on the old Mumbai-Pune highway. At the Kamshet exit we pulled over towards the road that leads to Pawna and took the following route towards the village – Bedse. At the base of this village begins the small hike of a few hundred steps to third century Buddhist caves named after the village. Our visit began with the rain tearing into our faces soaking us to the bone, just the way it is supposed to be. The village known for the caves along with its dense population of snakes was also peppered with mango trees at the initial stages of the climb. The rain knocking on our heads and giant fresh water crabs making a dash for the nearest exit were the customary signs that these were indeed the monsoons and a good way to begin them.

The climb was not really a climb like the ones you experience at Rajgadh, Visapur or Harish Chandragadh but similar to the one at Lohagadh. Steps leading to the top make the hike fit enough for a man even if he is age 90.

After 35 minutes we were at the caves. Carved in the side of the mountain into with three sections the cave is placed on a platform as its foundation in the mountain. The three caves stand on fresh water wells that can be accessed at their entrances.
The caves first section opens with two grand pillars in stone nearly 35 feet in height. At the top of the pillars are idols that resemble Indian deities. Inside the cave stands a huge Stupa nearly 20 feet in height. The most appealing part of this cave was this section which has pillars that surround the Stupa except at the entrance. We having reached at mid noon gave us the sunlight beaming straight into the caves in all the three sections. Taking a few picture we moved onto the next cave that appeared incomplete with rooms carved along its circumference preferably for those who were travelers or just monks at the religious site. This cave, unobstructed by an entrance like the first one opens up into the sky. Once the rain had stopped and clouds scattered we could see the national express way to Mumbai snake its way across the plains. The final cave was a small shelter near another entrance to the underground well.

Taking a scale of the age and art that these caves had, they cannot be compared to the ones around Maharashtra. These do not measure to the impeccable size of work bestowed on them. However these caves lie away from the public eye and do not attract any footfalls. So if you are one of those who prefer the greens to get away from the crowds Bedse is a must visit destination.

Heading down towards the village which took us lesser than what it took us to climb up. The walk downhill was also coupled with a hectic mango plucking. Let’s say the plucking was not as easy as its dictionary definition, but we managed a few mangoes sampled by parakeets.



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