“Quoted from the ASI tablet inscription-

Karla, Ancient name as ‘Valurka’ , is the one of the most famous centers of early rock-cut Architecture excavated about 100 Mtrs. on a high spur of the chain of hills on North flank of Indrayani Valley near on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway near Lonavala. The group of Karla includes total 16 excavations depicting artistic embellishment of Hinayan (Theravada) and Mahayan sects of Buddhism that prevailed from 2nd Century BC to 6th-7th Century AD. Of them only one is Chaityagriha and rest 15 are Viharas.”

It is this rendezvous with History that I had during my recent travel to Pune. Monsoons is a very good time to visit Pune since rains turn entire landscape lush and green. Though, there are many sites that can be explored in closer distances and over the weekends, I had particular affinity for dams, caves, and treks. I set out with my brother on a weekend using public transport to explore the caves of Karla.

On suggestions from locals, we rode a Volvo bus till Lonavala and then hired autorickshaw for local site seeing. We found the entire affair very costly and cumbersome. In my opinion taking a taxi from Pune for the entire day should have been the wiser option considering the cost savings, comfort and flexibility.