The Mandapeshwar Caves is an 8th Century rock-cut shrine dedicated to Shiva located near Mount Poinsur in Borivali
, a suburb of Mumbai
. The caves are believed to have been built approximately 1500 to 1600 years ago, nearly around the same time as Jogeshwari
caves (which were built between 520-550 AD).
The Mandapeshwar caves are smaller and lesser known as compared to the Kanheri Caves
in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park
in Borivali East. The ruins of an old Portuguese-built church stand on top of the caves. The Immaculate Conception Church is located to its south end. There is an open ground in front of the caves which is used as a playground and parking area by slumdwellers from the slum in front of it. The Swami Vivekanand Road runs in front of this cave.
Mandpeshwer caves have sculptures of Nataraja, Sadashiva and a splendid sculpture of Ardhanarishvara. It also has Ganesha, Brahma and Vishnu statuettes. These works depicted the mythical tales of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Even today an elaborate sculpture representing the marriage of Shiva with Parvati may be viewed from the large square window at the south end of these caves. The caves are declared as an archaeological heritage site and therefore are protected under law.