Karla is located in Maval Taluka of Pune, along the Pune-Mumbai highway, approximately 60 km northwest of Pune.
The Chaityagriha of Karla is not only the grandest but also the largest among all chaityagrihas in India.
The Karla group comprises 16 rock-cut excavations, with only three open to the public for viewing.
Visitors need to ascend a stone-paved path to reach the monastic complex. The caves are carved out of a large basalt rock hill
These caves are carved nearly 100 meters high on a spur of hills on the northern side of the Indrayani valley.
The caves were funded and supported by a consortium of merchants, nobles, and kings, who used to frequent the place.
Various inscriptions found here mention 27 individuals from diverse locations.
The Karla Chaityagriha is the largest of its kind in India with dimensions of 37.87 m in depth from the entrance to the rear, 13.87 m in width, and 14.02 m in height.
The apsidal hall is divided into a nave and two aisles by two rows of pillars, converging at the rear to form a semicircular apse.
The Karla Caves are adorned with numerous Buddhist sculptures, including images of the Buddha and various Bodhisattvas
The section above the doorways is adorned with a series of miniature chaitya windows, replicating the larger chaitya window.
The focal point of worship is the stupa located at the rear of the Chaityagriha, featuring a cylindrical drum.
Above the drum rises a hemispherical dome, supporting a cubical Harmika and a seven-stepped inverted square pyramid. Over it, a wooden chhatri is placed.
The Karla Chaityagriha stands out due to its inclusion of massive lion pillars at the entrance, making it one of only two in the western Deccan to do so
Ticket Prices: Rs 15 per person (over 15 years of age). Located: 10 km from Lonavala.