Caves in India are one of the most unique and unmatched experiences that take you back to the ancient era. These are the masterpiece of brilliant architecture and exhibit a rich display of ancient art and architecture.
These caves in India attract lot of history buffs and tourist from all parts of India and across the globe. Dating back to thousand years old these caves are well-maintained and taken care by Archeological Society of India. Many of the caves in India are listed among the UNESCO heritage sites.
In India a huge number of cities are lined-up with these striking caves. These caves show a wonderful mélange of history, mystery, spirituality, meditation and adventure. These are repository to some of the beautiful sculptures, murals and inscriptions that are engraved on the rocks inside. Let’s have a casual look to some of the important caves that deserves a worthwhile visit during a trip to India.
One of the most popular and world renowned attractions of Aurangabad (Maharashtra) are Ajanta and Ellora. These caves are not the natural ones, but are made by cutting the huge granite hillside. Legends say that these caves were put-up by Hindu, Jain and Buddhist monks in between 200 BC- 650, who meditated here for an extended period. Both Ajanta and Ellora are UNESCO heritage sites and constitute of total 29 and 34 caves respectively. Inside Ajanta you can see some beautiful paintings of Boddhisattvas, Padmapani, and Avalokiteshvara and in-addition to Jataka tales, the flying apsara and the image of Buddha. Within the Ellora there are 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain caves. The main attraction of Ellora is Kailasa temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva which is mainly known for its world largest rock pillar.
Settled around 24km away from the city center of Mumbai, Elephanta cave is another well-known caves in India. It is a world heritage site holding of seven excavated caves that date back to 5th and 6th century. The main cave depicts the various carvings related to Lord Shiva in different forms and act icons. Among all the seven caves the most remarkable one is cave-I that boasts of amazing segments with figures of Ardhanarisvara (form of shiva), cosmic dance of Natraj and Kalyanasundar.
The other major caves in Indiaare- Bhimbetka cave, that is located approximately 46km to the south of Bhopal. It is one of the great places for art lovers, as the cave houses a huge collection of ancient paintings and artifacts. The paintings here will define the comparison between the ancient art and the modern art. You can see the attractive paintings of seven different eras, Badami Caves in Karnataka. There are total four caves inside, out of which three are Brahminical and one is Jain cave. As in sequence, cave-I is associated with Lord Shiva, Cave-II/III with Lord Vishnu and Cave-IV with Jain saints, and Pataleshwar cave temple, a heritage site and a holy shrine that is dedicated to the Lord Pataleshwar (God of underworld). The notable rock-cut architecture and the shrine of Lord Shiva and the Nandi bull are the prime attraction of the cave. Moreover there is a museum too, inside which has a grain of rice on which there are 5000 characters inscribed on it.
Other than aforementioned ones, you may also visit Khandagiri caves (Bhubnehswar), Nellitheertha cave and Undavalli caves. Come and unravel the mystery behind these caves and get familiar with the ancient art and architecture of the country.