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Mumbai's Rough-Hewn Legacy April 4, 2007
text and photographs by Samir S. Patel

Ancient caves are part of the fabric of life in a megacity's suburban slums.


The tradition of Hindu rock-cut cave temples begins in the early sixth century A.D. and quickly reached grand scale with the spectacular caves at Elephanta on an island in Mumbai (Bombay) Harbor. Two caves within Mumbai represent the early examples and are largely forgotten and neglected despite their archaeological importance. Where Jogeshwari ("The Slum and the Sacred Cave," May/June 2007) languishes under a slum, Mandapeshwar, which is cut from a basalt outcropping called Mount Poinsur, is merely adjacent to one in Mumbai's Borivali suburb. The open area in front of the cave is a popular meeting place and cricket pitch for the local kids.  Next >>

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Samir S. Patel is an associate editor at ARCHAEOLOGY.

© 2007 by the Archaeological Institute of America