Mahakali Caves

Ma and me, we both went for a walk one day as the place to which we had shifted to,was new to us and we were exploring the locality.The locality was Andheri East in the famous city of Mumbai.After walking for about fifteen to twenty minutes we reached the end of the road.There was a small book shop there and we bought an Enid Blyton book from there and Ma after coming out from the shop started reading it then and there.Instead of walking towards our home she started walking in the opposite direction holding the book in one hand and holding my hand in her other hand.There was no traffic on the road as that place was completely secluded.It looked as if we had dropped from the face of the Earth.After reading it for a minute she asked me to hold the book and told me to start reading it as soon as I reached home.Thus,saying so she gave me the book and looked up and was startled by the scenery.On the right hand side was a field and left hand side it was a rocky small hill and looking ahead we both could see caves at the end of the road.No one had told us that there were true and original caves near our home.As it was getting dark we both did a 180 degree turn about and went straight home.Simply sighting the cave from afar had been an adventure for us, straight out an adventure book.When dad came home, we both told him about the caves and he said that they were Mahakali caves, one of the most beautiful caves in India.Immediately,I started pleading to my dad, to take us to the caves.He then promised to take us there the next Sunday. We used to reside at Mahakali Caves Road, didn’t know that such caves existed.
The caves are one of the ancient caves in India. In total there are nineteen caves. All are rock cut.Made from volcanic rock. There are beautiful Buddhist statues,stupas and carvings.It is nearly two thousand years old and the first cave was built in the 1st century or in the “pehli shatabdi” as said in Hindi.
There are writings on the cave walls in the “Pali” dialect.
All this information was given to us by our driver who was a local of that place, residing there for the last thirty years.He was our tour guide also.
We saw only a few of the caves, as there was a sudden downpour and we had to rush back home.We had even planned a picnic there, but that plan was also cancelled. We stayed in that locality for a few months, but never again did we get an opportunity to visit the caves. I still wonder that once upon a time my house was so near to an ancient and historic monument and I still can’t believe it.