Mandapeshwar : Mumbai’s forgotten caves

Most Mumbaikars would have heard of Kanheri caves in Borivali , however , the name Mandapeshwar will probably draw a blank .

Mandpaeshwar caves with ruins of the old church on top

Hidden in a nook near Mount Poinsur in Borivali , these 8th centruy rock-cut shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva tell a story of a tumultous past. Hindu figurines plastered over by the Portuguese to convert it into a chapel only to be again desecrated after the Portuguese were vanquished in the Battle of Bassein by the Marathas.

Remnants of a tumultous past

When the British took over , the caves once again became a centre for Christian worship and finally with the end of the colonial rule, the worhsip of Lord Shiva was restored.




The current state of the caves is pitiful. Poorly maintained , reeking neglect , the caves are a forgotten legacy . Crores of rupees designated to restore the caves to their past glory have vanished in thin air , leaving Mandapeshwar to disintegrate and gradually disappear.

Disfigured figurine
The ruins of the Old Portuguese Church on top of the caves


Corruption, political conflicts , public apathy and an insane number of unecessary malls mushrooming in the city…..heritage doesn’t seem to stand a chance.


26 thoughts on “Mandapeshwar : Mumbai’s forgotten caves

    1. I agree we do have a lot of treasures around the country. Mumbai has ruined so many already and doesn’t care much for what is left too. We have the funds and the skill to maintain these treasures , sadly not the right willed people at the top . If only they were less obsessed with renaming monuments and diverted their attention and resources to do the right things !

      Liked by 1 person

  1. hi P! hope things are going well with you…. I am trying to establish a YouTube channel, offering my two pennies on History, Literature, Religion, Philosophy, Psychology , Politics and Current Affairs. I also have readings of a few of my poems there. I will truly be indebted if you kindly visit, subscribe to my channel and watch my uploads @

    thanks and regards.

    p.s. I admit being selfish if I sound so.

    Liked by 1 person

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