Mandapeshwar Caves 2022 – Hindu Shrine at Dahisar Borivali

“As of the updates, It is 2022 and the 8th Century remains of a beautiful Edifice, a Historic Structure, Mandapeshwar caves is a basaltic rock-cut architecture and a Hindu shrine of Lord Shiva located behind Borivali IC Colony (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception).

At walking distance from Dahisar Railway Station which was actually built on the Riverbank of the flowing Dahisar River which still exists. Let us understand the Historics of this 500-year-old structure of this cave and current attractions & what to expect, How to reach and other facts…”

Lord Shiva's Mandapeshwar Caves at Borivali / Dahisar.
Lord Shiva’s Mandapeshwar Caves at Borivali / Dahisar.

Brief History Of This Caves

Carved into basaltic rocks of Salsette and was built by a Shaivite around the 6th Common Era (CE), Mandapeshwar caves were one of the shelters in the Northern suburbs of Mumbai city and originally a Hindu Shrine. Carved and built on a hilly location of the now called ‘IC Colony’, The cave is at the banks of Dahisar River which origins at Borivali river from the mountains of National park & Kanheri caves inside. The flowing Dahisar river is still not far, Just hidden and cannot be seen from the cave area due to the course of developments and urbanization in the last few decades.

While the location and this Historic structure of Mandapeshwar are quoted and said to be part of Borivali as it is located in the backdrop of IC Colony area, The place is much connected and near to Dahisar station & the flowing river. A Cave dedicated to Hindu God & Shrine of lord Shiva Converted to a Chapel & monastery by Portuguese and won back by Maratha to regain its originality of being a Hindu Shrine again in last 500 years or so, The caves lost the original carvings and the structure was disturbed in the religious battle.

It was 1544 when the Portuguese took over all Mumbai islands including Bassein (Now Vasai) and this hilly area of IC Colony. They built Manapacer church (Now, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) to train Christianity to locals, and in about a century next i.e around 1630 many locals were converted and followed the Roman Catholic way. For the same, The monastery was actually built on top of the caves and the remains are still visible and accessible.

Then in 1739 when Marathas took over Mumbai back, the already disturbed caves were restored and the monastery/chapel on top was destroyed. Then came the British and the church was restored in around 1887-88 and this went till 1912 when it was finally done.

As of date after the British era ended and were asked to leave India, The Cave regained its originality as a Hindu Shrine and the Worship of Lord Shiva continues to date. Today also, This Historic Shiva temple cave sees many footfalls that give shade to locals during summer, kids play around and see glowing on Maha Shivratri night as the surroundings are lightened up.

Mandapeshwar Caves Speciality

Below pictures and videos will tell much about this historic monument located at Mumbai suburban (Borivali), as already detailed in Wikipedia. Upon the construction of the Dahisar River bridge, Now caves are just 12 minutes walking distance from Dahisar railway station (West), which I personally went and enjoyed the walk on a beautiful monsoon evening.

Carved by Buddhist monks for shelter, meditation, and trade, This place’s rock carving and art are similar to those of Kanheri and Jogeshwari caves. It is a less famous and smaller historic monument cum Hindu Shrine protected and taken care of by the Indian Archaeology Society.

As of 2022, The leftover structure of this heritage marvel was ignored by me many times while passing by via vehicles as no one can expect a beautiful piece of history right in the middle of the hustle-bustle of the main road. The place is located next to Shastri Nagar bus stop, Dahisar (West) on Laxman Mhatre Road with slums on the other side of the sloppy road, and IC Colony right behind the Caves location.

Mandapeshwar Caves is a small rock-cut Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The remains of the stoned carved sculptures of Bramha, Vishnu, Ganesh, and many others are something rare to be seen today within Mumbai city. We have 4 similar carved and bigger caves compared to this one in and around Mumbai which are (Elephanta caves, Kanheri Caves inside National Park, Mahakali Caves and Jogeshwari Caves).

It is a beautiful solitary place with Shiva Linga temple inside as seen in the pictures. This area inside the cave is always cooler than the outside temperature. On top of the caves are the remains of an old monastery that can be seen once you climb the muddy slope route on the right.

As I went upstairs, I found local resident kids playing cricket inside the ruin chapel stones which is an isolated area. Easy accessible by youngsters in groups as I saw them behind a wall, which is something I didn’t expect at a heritage structure.

A surprise view of ‘Immaculate Conception Parish Cemetery’ at one location on the backside of the top area just adjacent to those ruins. Adjacent to the place is a few buildings and this beautiful IC Church (A Roman Catholic Church) which is one of the very peaceful and serene churches of Borivali.

Best Time To Visit: For me, Monsoon was the perfect time to visit these caves or any such edifice, Because the city summers are hot & humid. If you are around Borivali or Dahisar, you should visit this heritage beauty, Especially during the ‘Maha Shivaratri Festival’ when the open space in front of caves and the shiva temple inside is all lit up with hundreds of oil lamps and garlands of flowers, A view rarely seen at any caves as old as 500 years old now.

Mandapeshwar is not a famous cave compared to others, But if you are a Historian or a citizen staying in the Mumbai suburb, You should visit this place at least once as it is a rare piece of surprise located behind the gates with congested traffic on the immediately connected road with auto’s parked all the times.

Some Fast Facts

Car Parking : Parking need to be done outside gate on main road side, Safe although.
Wash room etc : Nothing as such available inside.
Safety & Timings: Caves are safe to explore, Still when alone or in a couple you might feel uncomfortable going to the top area which is isolated and some locals (Youngsters & Kids) moving around. Security is available day and night as it is a heritage location. Gates are open till late evening and mostly locals hang around the premise for a routine break and chit-chat.
Nearest Railway Station: Dahisar is the nearest railway station now after the new river bridge opens, Still one can ride an auto from Borivali too.
Best time & season to visit: Monsoon makes the surroundings of the cave green with trees, freshness, and cool climate, Winters also ok, But summers are hot. Visit early morning or in the evening time if not during monsoon.
Rules: Coconut breaking (Hindu Ritual) is not allowed inside Shiva temple / Caves area as it is a heritage site and damages to remains of rock-cut arts may happen.
My Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 as authorities can do much more to this unique Edifice for its historic importance.

Best 3 Videos

Caves & Surrounding Pictures

Caves When Raining
Caves When Raining

Main Entrance Area Of Caves
Main Entrance Area Of Caves

Lord Shiva Temple Inside
Lord Shiva Temple Inside

Side View
Side View

8th Century Ruins
8th Century Ruins

Rock Cut Sculptures
Rock Cut Sculptures

Caves Pillars
Caves Pillars

Cave Rocks
Cave Rocks

Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree

Remains Of Portuguese Church
Remains Of Portuguese Church

Caves Top
Caves Top

Notice Board
Notice Board

Premise
Premise

A Local Uncle
A Local Uncle

Uncle Planting Near Gate
Uncle Planting Near Gate

My love towards Mumbai city took me to passion blogging from hobby. Upon quitting job, now i am one of the online city & travel guide since 2007. Hope my efforts helps citizen, foreign nationals & tourists in some or other ways.

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