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Top 20 Historic Rock Cut Caves in India

Undavalli Caves, AP

Caves In India are great archaeological beauties , it is not explored completely. Irrespective of the ages, many temples are carved out of stones and are now became the architectural monuments of India.

Caves In India

There are many wild and natural caves in India that are hidden in the dense forests of unexplored terrains and valleys of the Indian region. These caves can be termed as a true treasure and they depict the great Indian history followed by the greatest Indian emperor Ashoka. Almost all the caves present in India are the Hindu cave temples like Varaha, Amarnath and Vaishno Devi and these are the most popular and highly visited rock cut cave temples in India.

Top 20 Rock Cut Caves in India

  1. Ajanta Caves
  2. Bagh Caves
  3. Udayagiri Caves
  4. Badami Caves
  5. Barabar Caves
  6. Borra Caves
  7. Edakkal Caves
  8. Varaha Caves
  9. Mawsmai Caves
  10. Jogimara Caves
  11. Bhaja Caves
  12. Koteshwar Temple Cave
  13. Bhimbetka Caves
  14. Patal Bhubaneswar Cave
  15. Sithannavsal Cave Temple
  16. Undavalli Caves
  17. Carla Caves
  18. Pataleshwar Cave Temple
  19. Tabo, Himachal Pradesh
  20. Dungeshwari cave Temples
  1. Ajanta Caves

Ajanta Rock Cut Caves, Maharashtra

Located in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, the Ajanta Rock Cut Caves in India are one of the greatest historical monuments in the world. There are 29 rock-cut cave monuments that include sculptures and paintings of the religious art. In India, the Ajanta and Ellora caves are the masterpieces of the hillside rock-cut architecture of India.

  1. Bagh Caves

Bagh Caves - Rock Cut Caves, Madhya Pradesh

The location of Buddhist rock-cut caves is amidst the southern slopes of Vindhyachal ranges in the state of Madhya Pradesh. There are 9 rock-cut monuments highly popular for paintings also known as the Rang Mahal also known as the “Palace of Colors”. These caves are renowned for Mural paintings by the master painters in ancient India.

  1. Udayagiri Caves In India

Udayagiri Caves, Odisha

Located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, the Udayagiri caves are the ancient Jain monasteries. The Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves are highly popular because of their wall paintings, sculptures and 33 rock-cut chambers. These 2 caves hold a religious importance and unique position. These caves depict some of the oldest cave temples and Hindu images. The site has significant inscriptions of the Gupta dynasty.

  1. Badami Caves

Badami Caves, Karnataka

Located in Badami, karnataka, these are the beautifully carved cave temples. Four caves are present in the Badami caves out of which 2 caves are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, 1 is a Jain temple and the other is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Badami was the capital of early Chalukya dynasty and was known as Vataapi Badami at that time. Some of the earliest known examples of the Hindu temples are represented by the Badami cave temples.

  1. Barabar Caves

Barabar Caves, Bihar

These rock cut caves are situated in the Gaya district of Bihar state. These are the oldest rock-cut caves in India. These are located in the twin hills of Nagarjuni (3 caves) and Barabar (4 caves). These caves date back to the Mauryan period. Most of the caves consist of 2 chambers, completely carved out of granite with the internal surface highly polished. Several rock-cut Hindu and Buddhist sculptures are also found here.

  1. Borra Caves

Borra Caves, Andhra Pradesh

The location of Borra caves in India is in Ananthagiri hills of the Araku valley that is situated in Visakhapatnam in the state of Andhra Pradesh. One of the largest in the country, these caves are situated at a height of 705 m. Considered to be one of India’s deepest caves, these caves are the karstic limestone structures that extend 80m deep. According to Legend, a Shiva Lingam found in the caves represents the Hindu God Shiva.

  1. Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves, Kerala

These are the 2 natural caves located on the Ambukuthy hills at Wayanad, Kerala. These are the highly popular places of interest and are also the natural caves in the land of God. The meaning of Edakkal caves is “the stone in between”. The Stone Age carvings found in Edakkal caves are very rare and the only known examples from the southern part of India. The pictorial writings inside the caves date back to 6000 BCE.

  1. Varaha Rock Cut Caves In India

Rock Cut Caves - Varaha Cave, TamilNadu

The highly popular Varaha cave or Boar cave is situated in Mahabalipuram, near the coromandel coast of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu. This cave is a temple of “Varaha”, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. This cave is an example of the Indian rock cut architecture which dates back to the late 7th century.

  1. Mawsmai Caves

Rock Cut Caves - Mawsmai Caves, Meghalaya

Thesei caves are the major crowd pullers in Cherrapunjee that leaves tourists spellbound. These are the limestone caves that are not far away from the astonishing Nohsngithiang Falls. These are the highly popular caves in India and the only caves situated in Meghalaya that are equipped with light.

  1. Jogimara Caves

Rock Cut Caves - Jogimara Cave, Chattisgarh

Though India is a country of surprises and miracles, the Sita Bengra Cave and the Jogimara Cave are a miracle even by the Indian standards. It forms the 2300 years old performance stage together with the nearby Sita Bengra cave. This cave’s interior is covered with paintings and it consists of the oldest known love message in the world.

  1. Bhaja Caves

Rock Cut Caves - Bhaja Caves, Maharashtra

Situated in the Pune district of Maharashtra, the Bhaja caves in India are the finest examples of Buddhist cave architecture. There are 18 caves here that depict the Hinyana phase of Buddhism which date back to starting from 3rd century B.C to 2nd century A.D. A large number of pillars are present here. They are carved with the figures of flowers and various other images.

  1. Koteshwar Temple Cave In India

Rock Cut Caves - Koteshwar Caves, Uttarakhand

These are one of the ancient caves in India. This cave has a high religious significance and it is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva had done his meditation when the demon, Bhasmasur chased him to kill him. This place is popularly known as the Koteshwar temple and is situated 3kms from Rudraprayag, a town in Uttarakhand.

  1. Bhimbetka Caves In India

Rock Cut Caves - Bhimbetka Caves, MadhyaPradesh

In the Indian sub-continent, these caves mark the early traces of human existence. These are one of the most enthralling places to visit. The paintings on the walls of these caves provide the evidences of the existence of celebrations and dance and also have been recognized as the World Heritage Site.

  1. Patal Bhubaneswar Cave

Rock Cut Caves - Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave, Uttarakhand

The Patal Bhubaneswar caves are located in the Bhubaneswar village near to Gangolihat in the state of Uttarakhand. According to Legend, these caves are found by King Rituparna of the Suryavansha dynasty in the Treta Yug. It was also believed that to enter the cave, there were 4 doors namely ‘Mokshadwar’, ‘Dharamdwar’, ‘Paapdwar’ and ‘Randwar’.

  1. Sithannavsal Cave Temple

Rock Cut Caves - Sittannavasal Cave, Tamil Nadu

This is a Jain temple belonging to the 2nd century A.D and is located in Sittanavasal village in the Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu state. The word Sithannavasal had originated from the word Sit-tan-na-va-yil which implies ‘the abode of great saints’. The other name for this caves is Arivar Koli.

  1. Undavalli Caves

Rock Cut Caves - Undavalli Caves, ANdhra Pradesh

Located at a distance of 8 kms from Vijayawada in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the Undavalli caves are one of the finest examples of heritage caves and rock-cut architecture in India. These caves date back to the 7th century A.D and are believed to be associated with the Vishnukundin Kings. These caves are dedicated to Narasimha Swamy and Anantapadmanabha swamy.

  1. Carla Caves In India

Rock Cut Caves - Carla Caves, Pune

These caves are located in karli near Lonavala, the popular hill station of Maharashtra. They date back to 200 BC and are among the oldest examples of the art of Early Buddhist temple in India. Infact, this cave is the largest early Buddhist shrine in India. Some of the notable features of these caves are the vaulted interiors and the arched entrances and an Ashokan pillar at the front.

  1. Pataleshwar Cave Temple

Rock Cut Caves - Pataleshwar Caves, Pune

This temple is one of the major attractions in Pune. these caves date back to 8th century AD and resemble the Ellora rock-cut caves. These caves contain a Shrine of Lord Shiva. The uniqueness of this cave is that it has been carved out of a single rock and the architecture here is simply perfect. There are sculptures of Hindu Gods like Ram, Sita and Laxman in this cave temple.

  1. Tabo, Himachal Pradesh

caves in India - Tabo Caves, Himachal Pradesh

On the rising hill just opposite to Tabo village, there are a group of caves. These are carved out of hill. According to legend, the Buddhist monks used these caves were used for the purpose of meditation during the winter season. There are large and small caves present here. The large ones were believed to be utilised as Assembly halls and the smaller ones for the dwelling and lodging purposes.

  1. Dungeshwari cave Temples

Rock Cut Caves - Dungeshwari Cave, Bihar

Located at a distance of about 12kms from Bodhgaya, the Dungeshwari cave temple is one of the most famous temples in Bihar. The Buddhist Shrines are present in 3 shrines here and it is believed that, in these caves, Buddha had spent a very long time in meditating. In this cave, Dungeshwari, the Hindu Goddess deity is placed here. These caves are indeed one of the beautiful and must visit places in the state of Bihar.

Also Read:

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Top 25 Hill Stations in India

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