Hardly any distance from Pune, near Kamshet, in the village of Raotawadi are the unexplored Buddhist caves of Bedse. The caves those hardly find any mention anywhere are a treasure cove for the enthusiasts. There is hardly any information about these caves in the history of such sculpted caves of India. These are ancient Buddhist caves on the line of Ellora or Karle caves near Lonavala.
It is a small complex with not much of intricate work like the Ellora but very much like the Karle caves. Although the period of these caves is unknown, people believe that they were built somewhere in the 1st century as the sculptures carved mostly pertain to the Hinayana Buddhism. It seems that the caves were carved by the same set of people who carved the Karle caves and are most probably built prior to the Karle caves. The sculptures and the styles including the Stupas and Chaityas are nearly the same except for its size. The Bedse caves are smaller than the Karle caves. The caves facing the east are best visited in the morning as the sunlight directly falls inside and gives a clear vision.
Bedse caves must have lost its importance when the Karle caves were sculpted, and also by then the impact of Buddhism had decreased in that part of India. The Viharas and the Stupas are beautiful pertaining to the Hinayana Buddhist style. While some pillars have flower and wheel motifs carved on them most of the caves are plain and simple, basically meant for praying purpose. The not so huge cylindrical Stupa has a small wooden umbrella on top, which the locals say is as old as the birth of these caves.
The road to these caves is not neat and at times trekking is the best option. But the trek and the dusty road too do not bother as the caves are worth a visit.