Visit Mahakali Caves (Kondivite Caves): One of the Oldest Caves in Joeshwari, Mumbai City (2023)
Mahakali Caves is one of the few tourist locations in Mumbai that many do not know. The Caves has a rich history and is an integral part of India’s culture, lies forgotten, and not many tourists visit it. The sad part is that the Mahakali Caves do not make it to tourist itineraries – because they are bang in the middle of the city and are on the path towards the main road. If you plan to visit Mahakali caves in Mumbai, read this article to know what to expect.
History of Mahakali Caves:
The Mahakali Caves are in Jogeshwari, a suburb in Mumbai that’s between Goregaon and Andheri. The Mahakali caves are also known as Kondivite Caves and are some of the oldest structures you will see in the city, dating back to the 6th BC. Most of the caves are mutilated. The entire scenario is nothing compared to the Kanheri Caves that we see at Borivali or the Elephanta Caves that we see as well.
There is a total of 19 caves, four to the northwest, and the rest to the southeast. You will see the depictions of Lord Buddha on the cave walls. The caves are on a small plateau, and there is a path to a village below. Rumors persist that some eighties Bollywood horror movies were shot here, or at least some stock footage that we see in these movies.
Mahakali Caves At the Present Time:
One pro-tip, if you spend some while there, there is every chance that some village locals come up and settle around, trying to look at what you are doing. The caves were about to be encroached, but the authorities intervened in the nick of time.
Some say that some of the Ramsay Horror Movies were shot here, but there is no proof of that. The Ramsays usually shot their movies in Matheran or some other hill station, but the caves do look like they are straight out of a horror movie in the evening.
If you go to the Mahakali Caves towards evening, you will see that several crows come to roost at the top of the caves and fly away together, making for a surreal experience and view.
There is a village a little distance away from the caves, but there is no commercial activity around the caves. So, pack along water bottles, biscuits, and whatever else you would need.
You will not spend more than an hour here, and you need to be careful while climbing down, as you need to get down from a dirt path. The best time to reach here is during the late afternoon and towards the evening. That is when the crows and other birds fly unto the top of the caves to feed.
The Mahakali Caves is a cool, calm area. If the caves are an underwhelming experience, you can always settle down for a while and take in the serenity that the Caves have to offer, something that Mumbai will not offer you once you get down and hit the road.
One interesting fact about Mahakali Caves is that it is inside the Kamal Amrohi estate, it could have been the location or film shootings. Kamal Amrohi was a noted filmmaker in Bollywood.
Places to Visit Nearby Mahakali Caves:
Once done, you can take an autorickshaw and come to the hub of nightlife in Mumbai, Andheri. The Andheri Link Road area is home to several Bollywood production houses. For example, Veera Desai Road is home to the Yashraj Productions, Mukta Arts, and Balaji Telefilms. One lane ahead, and you will see the Zee office as well.
The Andheri area is a good one for shopping as well. Link Road is home to Infinity Mall, one of the biggest in the region. If you are not into brand shopping, you can head over to the Andheri Station, where you get access to one of the biggest flea markets that sell clothes, accessories, and almost everything else that you can think about.
If you have a whole day to pass, you can head over to Juhu, which is a little distance away from the Andheri station in an autorickshaw. At Juhu, you can take in a slice of the Mumbai life and gorge on Mumbai-specific cuisine that has made Mumbai famous all over the world.
How to Reach Mahakali Caves?
The Mahakali Caves are simple to reach as well. They are in Jogeshwari, so you need to travel north if traveling from Churchgate or South if traveling from Borivali. Once at Jogeshwari Station, you can take a bus or a rickshaw from the station. If you are coming from the Ghatkopar side, you need to catch a Metro and then get down at Andheri Station, and then reach Jogeshwari and Mahakali Caves via auto or a taxi. You will also find several bus routes that ply you to the Caves, but these might be connecting buses, you will need to take multiple bus rides to reach your destination.