Bhaja Caves or Bhaje caves is a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the 2nd century BC located in Pune district, near Lonavala, Maharashtra. The caves are 400 feet above the village of Bhaja, on an important ancient trade route running from the Arabian Sea eastward into the Deccan Plateau. The inscriptions and the cave temple are protected as a Monument of National Importance, by the Archaeological Survey of India per Notification No. 2407-A. It belongs to the Hinayana Buddhism sect in Maharashtra. The caves have a number of stupas, one of their significant features. The most prominent excavation is its chaitya, a good example of the early development of this form from wooden architecture, with a vaulted horseshoe ceiling. Its vihara has a pillared verandah in front and is adorned with unique reliefs. These caves are notable for their indications of the awareness of wooden architecture. The carvings prove that tabla – a percussion instrument – was used in India for at least 2300 years, disproving the centuries-held belief that the tabla was introduced to India by outsiders or from Turko-Arab. The carving shows a woman playing tabla and another woman, performing dance.
The Buddhist caves in India form an important part of Indian rock-cut architecture, and are among the most prolific examples of rock-cut architecture around the world.
There are more than 1,500 known rock cut structures in India, out of which about 1000 were made by Buddhists, 300 by Hindus, and 200 by Jains.
Many of these structures contain works of art of global importance, and many later caves from the Mahayana period are adorned .
In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance.
Sometimes, it is a journey to a sacred place or to a shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith.
Members of every major religion participate in pilgrimages. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.
Among the four major Buddhism sites of pilgrimage one is in Nepal:
- Lumbini, where Buddha was born
and the three .