Maha Archaeology dept takes up restoration of Dharashiv cave

    Aurangabad, Sep 16 (PTI) The Maharashtra archaeology
department has taken up restoration of one of the seven
Dharashiv caves in Osmanabad district after rains caused
damage to the sixth century structure, an official said.
    The caves, located around eight km from Osmanabad city
in Balaghat mountains, have artistic carvings which attract
tourists to the area.
    One of the caves suffered damage following rains in
the area. To avoid further degradation, work has been
undertaken to construct 12 pillars to support the structure,
state archaeology department's assistant director Ajit
Khandare told PTI.
    "The upper rock of the cave will get support with
these pillars and help in increasing the life of this
monument. The restoration work will continue for next two
months," Khandare said.
    Asked about the significance of these caves, Nanded-
based historian Prabhakar Dev said they were carved in the
sixth century and are located near Ter, which was a bustling
trade centre during the Satavahana period (230 BC to 200 AD).
    "The first reference of these caves was found in a
book written in 931 AD which shows the caves are older than
that period. There is a still a debate among historians on
whether the caves are Buddhist or of Jain religion," he said.
    The caves were also mentioned in a book by
archaeologist James Burgess and many historians also wrote
about these caves, he said. PTI AW

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)