The Shiv leni Caves (Shiva leni; Jogai Mandap; Hattikhana) in Ambajogai, Maharashtra, India are rock-cut cave monuments[1] which date in King Udayaditya (reigned c. 1060–1087) from Paramara dynasty of Malwa. Total excavations were hewn out of rock cut and carved deep inside the hill. The caves include sculptures of Hindu deities like Shiva, Saptamatrukas and Ganesha. This site is described by Archaeological Survey of India as "the finest surviving examples of Indian art".

Shivleni Caves ((Hatti khanaa))
Jogai Mandap
Shivleni Ambajogai.jpg
Inner view of Shivleni
Map showing the location of Shivleni Caves ((Hatti khanaa))
Map showing the location of Shivleni Caves ((Hatti khanaa))
Shivleni, Ambajogai
Nearest cityAmbajogai, Maharashtra, India
Coordinates18°44′21″N 76°23′11″E / 18.739166°N 76.3862987°E / 18.739166; 76.3862987
Frontside view of Shivleni

The site is listed in "List of State Protected Monuments in Maharashtra" as a protected monument in the care of the Department of Archaeology of Maharashtra,[2] under the Maharashtra Ancient Monumnets and Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1960. The Shivleni Caves have also been an Archaeological Survey of India Heritage Site.


Shivleni Caves are situated hardly half a kilometer to the north-west of Yogeshvari Temple, along the banks of the Jayvanti river. The caves are square in shape and are carved deep inside the hill. The entrance is on the southern side of the hill. Inside Mandap (pavilion) has an 8.36 sq m. court-yard in front and the roof of Mandap is supported by four pillars.


In the centre of the court-yard there is an elegantly carved Nandi Mandap measuring 9.14 × 9.14 meters. In the center of this Mandap there is an image of Nandi. The inside of the cave is impressive; one hall is supported by thirty-two pillars and adorned with sculptures of Shiva and Ganesha.

An account of this structure can be found in the book The Cave Temples of India by James Fergusson and James Burgess (1880).[3]

History and inscriptionEdit

An inscription found here dated Saka 1066 records the grant for the maintenance of these caves by the king Udayaditya who is referenced as "Mahamandaleshvar".[4] According to the inscription, villages of Sailu, Kumbhephal, Javalganv and a few others were granted to the Shiva temple. This inscription has been relocated to the Tahsildar's office at Ambajogai for safe custody and preservation.

Local beliefsEdit

A local story claims that the monument is the wedding court of the jogaidevi, whose temple is situated nearby. It is said that the wedding was planned to take place in this mandap but could not take place for supernatural reasons, and the elephants and everything inside it turned to stone, hence the name 'Jogai Mandap'.

There is also a local belief that there is a tunnel in this Hattikhana leading to Parli Vaijanath, around 25 km away, that was closed by the authorities.


The monument is now a state protected monument under the Maharashtra Ancient Monuments and archaeological sites and Remains Act, 1960.


  1. ^ "Shivleni - jogai Cave Temple, Ambajogi". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  2. ^ "General view of the Jogai Mandir Cave Temple, Ambajogi". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  3. ^ Fergusson, James; Burgess, James (1880). The Cave Temples of India. London: Allen. p. 425.
  4. ^