About 8 Kms South of Nasik, is a group of 24 Hinayana Buddhist Caves dating from around the 1st century BC to the 2nd AD. The most important in this group are number 18 and 20. Except caves no. 18, the rest of the caves are Viharas or Monasteries. This group of caves is one of the most important and intriguing in western India. The oldest historical place in Nashik is Pandav caves which are also known as Trirashmi Leni. The famous Dadasaheb Phalke Smarak and Buddhasmarak are soon to be opened for public, which are known for their creativity and only of their kind. Cave 3 is a large vihara with some interesting sculptures. Cave 10 is also a vihara and almost identical in design to cave 3, although it is much older and finer in its detail. It is thought to be nearly as old as the Karla Cave near Lonavala. Cave 18 is a chaitya believed to date from the same time as the Karla Cave and is well sculptured. Its elaborate facade is particularly noteworthy. The cave houses the idols of Buddha, Jain Teerthankara Vrishabhdeo, the icons of Bodhisatva, Veer Manibhadraji and Ambikadevi. The interiors of the caves were popular meeting places for the disciples, where sermons were conducted. There are attractive water tanks very skillfully chiselled into the rock. The 2000-yr-old Pandavleni caves, built by the Jain kings, are located on a tableland atop the Trivashmi Hill, close to the Mumbai Road.
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