Surprised that I have not even heard of the Kondana caves let alone visit them, I came across them while I was searching for information on how to get to Karjat, which we will soon put up. For now lets go on a journey to the 8 Buddhist caves of the Hinayana Buddhist tradition which is a one hour trek from the Kondane village.
The Kondana caves enclose sculptures, vihara, cahitya and stupas, specimens of ancient Buddhist architecture. Although there was an earth quake in the early 1900s many stupas, the front entrance and the floor of the caves were damaged. But what remains intact is the beatuful Chaitya that welcomes you to the rock cut caves that were created around 200 BC - 100BC.
If your fond of ancient sculpture it sure will fascinate you, the carvings feature dancing men and woman all held together with octagonal pillars. Although now that the masses have visited this cave it seems the trek is quite littered, although there are still some very cool things like rappelling under the waterfall besides the Kondana caves that are organized by various trekking groups a quick Google search will come up with some results.
Apart from the lush green that the monsoon provides, you can spend your time getting a cold fresh water massage as you sit under the cascading waterfall. If you plan on doing this trek during another season it is advisable to carry enough drinking water as you wont find any around the place.
How to get to Kondana Caves:
Take a bus or rickshaw (Rs.150 - Rs.200) from Karjat to Kondivade village and from Kondivade proceed to Kondane or Kharvandi village as from both these villages the Kondana caves are a one hour walk.
The other way is from the Ulhas valley, get to Thakurwadi railway station from Pune/Mumbai. From here you can proceed to famous valley of Ulhas River. A road to left from Ulhas river goes straight to Kondhane caves. Ulhas valley is a scenic trek besides waterfall and wildflowers.