On Friday 22nd of May, students from year 8 visited the Mahakali Caves in Andheri as part of their work for the Big History Project. These caves - some dating back 1800 years - were cut from the rocks by Buddhist monks. Students learnt that monasteries are traditionally associated with trade routes and for good measure students saw that the caves overlook the JV link road- an important thoroughfare to this day. Students had a fascinating talk from a leading Bombay archaeologist about the history of the caves and the geology of the area, relating it to the movement of the Indian subcontinent from Pangaea up to its collision with Asia. They learnt that India killed the dinosaurs! Get them to explain.
Students then undertook an investigation, making records of what they could see in the caves. Then using their observations they conjectured about the uses of the caves: living quarters, places of worship, etc. and tried to see evidence of water harvesting, sanitation and other amenities. They went so far as to try to answer "Which of two caves were the older?" supporting their arguments with the evidence that they had obtained.
They impressed with their ability to use information gleaned in their surveys, to answer many questions - putting the research and deductive methods that they have learnt in their Big History Project into practice. They left having learnt much about an important part of local history and understanding more about how their learning is applied. The team from 'Yatra' who worked with us were highly impressed by their abilities and intelligence and we look forward to more exciting local-history-based visits in the future.