Buddhist Rock-Cut Monastries of the Western Ghats is a guidebook that focuses on the rock-cut Buddhist monasteries near Nashik and Junnar, and at Karla, Bhaja, Bedsa, Kondane and Kanheri. These magnificent shrines and dwellings, known as chaityas and viharas, were cut into the basalt cliffs of the Western Ghats more than 2000 years ago. They are located near the trade routes that go through mountain passes, linking ports on the Arabian Sea with cities in the Deccan hinterland. Merchants travelling along these routes, together with local kings, queens and guilds of craftspeople, financed these excavations and supported the everyday life of the monks and nuns who resided there in ancient times.

Co-authored by George Michell and Gethin Rees, and illustrated with splendid, newly commissioned photographs by Surendra Kumar, this is the first guidebook that describes the sites listed above. The monuments are arranged according to itineraries to encourage visitors from Mumbai, Pune and Nashik to discover these splendid vestiges of the Deccan’s ancient Buddist period.

George Mitchell
George Michell trained as an architect and has a PhD in Indian Archaeology and Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has carried out research at many historical sites in India, most extensively at Hampi Vijayanagara, for which he co-authored the guidebook with John M. Fritz in this series. Among his recent publications are Mughal Architecture & Gardens (Mumbai, 2011), Late Temple Architecture of India, 15th to 19th Centuries (New Delhi, 2015), and Mansions of Chettinad (Karaikudi, 2016).