Caves in India
Caving in India is very popular considering the number of caves one can find here. Every state has a number of caves worth exploring. There is the right mix of history, spirituality, mystery, meditation, and adventure in cave explorations.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
The Ajanta and Ellora caves are the most famous caves of India. They are carved into the hillside rocks and are located in the north of Maharashtra. One needs to see these caves to truly understand the magnificence of their beauty and form. There are in all 34 caves at the Ellora.
This date back to the 6th and 11th centuries AD. There are 29 caves at Ajanta. This date back to the 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. The caves at the Ajanta are all Buddhist caves.
However, the caves at Ellora are a mix of Buddhism, Hinduism as well as Jainism.
Elephanta Island Caves, Maharashtra
The Elephanta caves are located on an Island just off the coast of Mumbai. There are in all seven ancient caves, which are hand carved out of a single rock. These caves date back to 450 and 750 AD and are very ancient. Out of all the caves, there is one main cave, which has many stunning large sculptured panels. These panels depict the Hindu god, Lord Shiva. One has to take a ferry from the Gateway of India to reach these island caves.
Badami is very attractive due to the presence of the many beautiful cave temples. The four temples are open daily for a specific time period. The four caves are dedicated to individual deities like Lord Shiva (one), Lord Vishnu (two), and the Jains (one). These caves overlook the 5th-century Agastyatirtha Tank and also the beautiful waterside Bhutanatha Temples. A perfect caving location, one might say!
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Orissa
The Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves are located on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, Orissa. The landscape is dotted with many ancient caves, but Udayagiri, also known as the Sunrise Hills, have the most interesting caves. There are many ornately carved caves, which are believed to be once occupied by Jain aesthetics. There is the mysterious Tiger Cave, which has an entrance shaped like a tiger’s mouth, and the Queen’s Palace Cave, which has the remains of the Jain symbols. Khandagiri is another cave collection, with many beautiful caves.
Tabo, Himachal Pradesh
One can find spiritually vibrant caves in Tabo, which offers the visitors a chance to meditate and go into a trance. Situated in the Spiti Valley, the rugged and rocky ridge is located at a high altitude. The town is dotted with many caves that aid the local Buddhist lamas in meditating
peacefully, by offering such calm serene place. One can explore a lot of small and big caves here as the mountains house many of them resulting in many visitors annually.
The Many Caves of Meghalaya
Meghalaya is one state of India, where the caving exploration expeditions actually started! The place has many caves, in almost all the nooks and corners of its landscape. Scores of cavers visit Meghalaya annually to undertake caving expeditions. These caves are simply beautiful and awe-inspiring. Words fail to describe how magnificent these caves actually are during sunrise and sunsets. One should definitely visit Meghalaya, the land of beautiful caves!
The Caves of Jammu & Kashmir
There are many caves in Jammu and Kashmir, but two important caves include those dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thus, these are very popular with pilgrims from all over India. Shiv Khori is placed near Ransoo, deep in the Siwalik Hills. It is a kilometre long cave and has a natural Shiva lingam made out of a nice stalagmite. Then there are the famous Amaranth caves on Mount Amaranth. There is also a temple and a famous Hindu shrine in those caves, made of ice. The ideal time to visit these caves is in the months of July and August.
Undavalli and Mogalarajapuram Caves, Andhra Pradesh
In the famous city of Vijayawada, one can find the well preserved 7th century dated Undavalli cave temples. There is a quiet tranquillity to the place that is really unmatched elsewhere. In the caves, one can find many shrines that are dedicated to the powerful Hindu deities like Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma. The Mogalarajapuram caves are an interesting find but they are in the ruins nowadays but still worth a visit. However, these caves are very famous for exploration and getting to know about their make and architecture is very interesting.
Trichy Rock Fort Temple and Pallava Caves, Tamil Nadu