Panhalekaji, the famous rock-cut caves are situated on the bank of the river Kotjai which further meets the Dabhol creek. These historical manmade caves are believed to be more than 1000 years old and are the great examples of ancient cultural and architecture. There are a total 29 rock cut-caves, both big and small spread along the river bank. You can find Buddhist as well as Hindu religious rock hewn sculptures similar to Anjantha caves. There are sculptures of Ganesh, Saraswati and scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana on the walls.
The carvings in these rock-cut caves create a unique blend of history of that period and natural beauty. It may take couple of hours to see all these caves in detail. One can also relax in the shadow of Mango trees, enjoy a refreshing swim in the river or simply stop and admire the outstanding scenery that this area has to offer. You can also take a walk along the river bank to enjoy the flora and fauna on both sides. Jungle covered mountains lie on both sides of the river. There is also a fort called "Pranaldurg" at top of the mountain. Every visitor feels in harmony with the nature, which breathtakingly unfolds around the river. In this remote area you can see variety of birds flying around and you may also get chance to spot Asian river otters.
Visitors get transported to a different world when exploring the ancient architecture in these caves. You can enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness of the jungle and walk in the woodlands. Bird enthusiasts will not be disappointed as this is an excellent area for bird watching. You can also spend your time fishing. Be sure to make a trip to Panhalekaji a part of your beach holiday vacation.
Panhalekaji is situated around 20 km from Dapoli. State Transport (ST) buses run between Dapoli and Panhalekaji. You can also hire an auto rickshaw or drive down. Rented jeeps / cars are available.
Directions from Dapoli to Panhalekaji (shorter route):
• From Dapoli bus stand, take the second left at Kelaskar Naka towards Dabhol
• Turn left near Nante towards Panhalekaji
(Road Route: Dapoli - Kelaskar Naka - Jalgaon - Nante - Panhalekaji)
Directions from Dapoli to
Panhalekaji via Wakawali:
• From Dapoli bus stand proceed towards Khed
• Turn right at Wakawali
• Continue on this road till you reach a 'T' junction (the left branch goes towards Unhavare and the right branch towards Panhalekaji). Turn right towards Panhalekaji
• This road slopes down towards Dabhil-Pangari. You have to turn right just before the slope ends on the big left curve. This will take you to Panhalekaji
(Road Route: Dapoli - Kumbhve - Wakawali - Gavtale - Panhalekaji)
You can stay in Dapoli.