“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. Likewise, a country with a glorious past harbors many treasures. And a country like ours does indeed have a very glorious past. Above everything else, the caves in India are a true reflection of the culture and history.
The caves are a mystical and alluring structure. It allures an adventurer like a flame calls out to a moth. Most of the caves in India are natural. They are the epitome of the extraordinary sculptural brilliance. However, most of these caves remain hidden in plain sight. But, we have managed to curate a list of caves in India that you must consider exploring.
Here are the 10 hidden caves of India
1. Bhimbetka caves
Bhimbetka cave are located in the interiors of Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh. Paintings on the walls of the caves are living proof of the early civilisations. The exotic painting of dance and celebrations are recognized as a World Heritage Site.
As per legend, it was occupied by the Pandavas during their exile. The name, ‘Bhimbekta’ literally translates to “the setting place of Bhim” in the Hindi dialect. The paintings can be roughly divided to cover five time periods. The paintings of Yakshas, flying chariots, and tree gods adorn the walls of the cave.
2. Badami caves
Next on our list of hidden caves in India are the Badami caves in Karnataka. The caves are proof of the grandeur and architectural brilliance of the Chalukya dynasty. Badami caves comprise of four caves. Three of the caves house Brahamanical temples and the last one houses a Jain temple.
The caves are of red sandstone and are at the mouth of the ravine. It dates back to the 6th or 7th century. It is, in fact, the finest example of rock-cut architecture in India. The walls of the caves are brimming with images and sculptures of Hindu and Jain gods.
3. Udaygiri caves
Udaygiri caves near Bhubaneswar is one of the finest examples of rock-cut chamber caves. The caves are from the Gupta dynasty. The caves have a display of Hindu paintings and sculptures. Udaygiri caves is a culmination of about 14 caves. The 5 feet tall statue of Lord Viṣhṇu in his incarnation as the boar-headed avatar is one of the most well-known sculptures. These sculptures dating back to the 4th century make the caves one of the most alluring caves in India.
4. Borra caves
Next on our list of caves in India is the Borra caves in Andhra Pradesh. Borra Caves is a natural cave formation by the culmination of limestone. The cave is a hot spot for anyone who is keen on observing stalagmite and stalactite formations. It sprawls over an entire square kilometer and has a religious appeal. The cave houses a ‘shiva lingam’. Other ice formations in the shape of other Hindu gods are a common sight here.
5. Sithannavsal Caves
Sithannavsal Caves in Tamil Nadu is one of the finest examples of hidden caves in India. The word ‘Sithannavsal’ literally translates to ‘abode of great saints’. These Jain caves date back to the 2nd century. The cave walls are adorned with murals and frescoes. Vegetable and mineral dyes are the base for these murals. Paintings of this kind are only found in one other cave, the famous Ajanta caves.
6. Koteshwar Caves
Koteshwar caves in Uttrakhand is at a distance of 3 kilometers from the town of Rudraprayag. Out of all the caves in India, the cave holds religious importance for the Hindus. As per legend, it is the place where Lord Shiva meditates when the demon, Bhasmasur chases to kill him. The cave is a full house in the months of August and September. This is the time when devotees from all over India flock the caves.
7. Bhaja Caves
Another of the hidden caves in India is the Bhaja caves near Pune. The cave is one of the finest examples of Buddhist cave architecture. It is a culmination of 18 caves. The caves date back to the 3rd century and depict the pillar style cave architecture. The caves are artfully covered with intricate and well-defined sculptures.
8. Varah Caves
Varah caves in Tamil Nadu is a UNESCO site and is one of the finest caves in India. The caves date back to the 7th century and is a dedication to Lord Vishnu. The caves are small and are adorned with carvings all over. Another striking feature of the cave is a small rock-cut structure which supports a central mandapa and side panels.
9. Mawsmai Caves
The Mawsmai caves in Meghalaya are one of the must-visit caves in India. The caves are very close to the Bangladesh border. The cave has large passages and chambers and is the only fully lit cave in India. The stalactites and stalagmites add to the grandeur of the caves. The caves are a perfect fix for an adventure junkie as it requires the visitors to crawl through at various times.
10. Tabo Caves
The Tabo Caves in Himachal Pradesh is a group of caves in the quaint sleepy village of Tabo. These caves are carved out from the hills. The caves serve as a meditation house to the Buddhist monks, especially during winters. Many of these caves have colorful prayer flags. These flags signify that monks are still using the caves for the purpose of meditation.
Caves! Alluring structures, right?
So let us all start ‘wandering more and wondering a little less’. These caves in India are a perfect dose for every kind of traveler. If you need any assistance, feel free to hit us up on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. Better yet, Hire a Scout and make your trip a more hassle-free one by traveling confidently with their expert advice.