Panhalakaji Caves are situated in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra state, about 160km south of Mumbai. This cave complex has around 30 Buddhist Caves. The Hinayana sect began carving caves in 3rd century AD, beginning with the stupa in the current Cave 5. The caves have inscriptions in Brahmi and Devanagari script. In the 10-11th century AD another Buddhist group, a Vajrayana sect, established cave 10 with their deities Akshobhya and Mahachandaroshana; and strengthened their practice in that region. Shiva and Ganpatya worshiping started at the site during Silahara rule.
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 .