Dharashiv caves are located at a distance of 8km from Osmanabad city in the mountains of Bala ghat. In the lane of Balaghat mountain, there are around seven caves. The 1st cave is small open spaced caves without any statue. The 2nd cave has a statue with artistic work on the right side of it. The art work resembles Gandharva era. The 6th cave has a damaged statue, where as the 7th cave consists of open space and do not have any statue.The caves find its mention in a book named 'Archaeological survey of India'. Dharashiv caves were originally Buddhist; however with time and renovation process there caves were converted into monuments of the Jain religion. There are new caves also excavated in proximity of these caves.There are caves excavated in the hill related to Buddhist era in a distance of 8 miles from Dharashiva. The earlier caves are of middle of the 7th century A. D, referred by Burgess. The model plan of cave no. II is found in the Vakataka caves at Ajanta. The cave has a central hall with an area of 80 ft by 80 ft, with 14 cells for the residence of the Bhiksus and Garbhagraha with an image of the Buddha in Padmasana.The hood of serpent over the head of Buddha statue is believed to be the image of the Jain Tirthankara Paravanatha. However, the figure of deer with a Dharmachakra between them on the pedestal indicates that it is that of Gautama Buddha. The cave number III has a hall of 59' by 59', nearly resembles the Cave No. I. Nearby to these caves, some Jain caves were excavated on the same hill, known as cave number V and VI. The description of caves were found in the Prakrt work Karakandacariu that they were excavated by the king Karakanda, who came to first few caves from the prince Siva of Terapura (Tagara).The work of Karakandacariu dates back to 11th century A. D. The last caves are believed to be excavated in the 9th or 10th century A. D. during the age of Rastrakutas. In historical survey, it was found that the caves were built in 5th century B.C. There is a major difference between the assumptions of researchers and archaeological about the religion, whether these caves are related to Buddha or Jain.
Osmanabad, Maharashtra 413501, India