Kanheri Caves made part of `Clean India` campaign

Mumbai: The Kanheri Caves here have been made part of the government`s Clean India campaign.

The 2,100-year-old group of caves is now part of the 10 monuments under the Tourism Ministry`s campaign.

The monuments, being maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, will be adopted by various hotel management institutes, public sector undertakings and private companies for upkeep.

The Quality Council of India will evaluate the level of cleanliness in the monuments and classify them as average, good, very good and excellent, before they are given for adoption.

Based on the classification, the ministry will extend awards and citation to the adopters.

Kanheri Caves is a complex of 109 rock cut and carved caves in Borivali in Mumbai.

There is a congregation hall with stone pillars and a Buddhist stupa, an ancient water system with canals and cisterns which channelled rainwater into underground storage tanks.

Gradually, as the caves became permanent monasteries, intricate reliefs and Bodhisattvas were carved besides paintings on the walls and ceilings, similar to the Elephanta Islands, off the coast of Mumbai.

By the 3rd century AD, Kanheri had become an important Buddhist settlement on Konkan coast and was a university under the Mauryan and Kushan empires, attracting students from far and wide.

Today, the caves attract domestic and foreign tourists but are short of adequate public amenities, including regular transportation since they are located deep inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

The other monuments on the list are Golkonda Fort in Andhra Pradesh, St. Francis Assisi Church Complex in Goa, Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh, Megalithic Bridge in Meghalaya, Red Fort in New Delhi, temples in Odisha, Bhatinda Fort in Punjab, Mamallapuram monuments in Tamil Nadu and Imambara in Uttar Pradesh.


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