Ten Most Underraterd Caves in India
Udayagiri Caves, Bhubaneshwar: Udayagiri Caves, totaling 18 are located just 10 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar. These caves were once home to the Jain Ascetics nearly 2000 years ago. The coarse sandstone structure consist of both natural rock shelters as well as those curved out from the rocks. The caves can be accessed by a flight of steps from the base of the hill.
Mawsmai Cave, Shillong
Mawsmai Cave, aka Krem Phyllut, is situated around 56 km from Shillong close to Cherrapunjee. Mawsmai Cave is a large cave with narrow openings on both ends. The Cave is filled with amazing sight of stalagmites and stalactites kind of rock formations. The inside of the cave is dark and consist of big amphitheater-like halls with endless number of galleys of different shape and size.
Bagh Caves, Mandu
Remarkable Bagh Caves are located 50 km from Mandu on the road between Indore and Vadodara on the bank of Baghini river. Inscriptions found inside the cave point the origin of the caves to 4th /5th AD. The seven rock cut caves consist of Viharas stupa in chaitya hall and residential cells. Sculptures of Buddha and Boddhisattvas found inside the cave points that the cave belonged to the era, when Buddhism was prospering in Central India.
Edakkal Caves, Wayanad
Edakkal Caves are located 12 kilometres south-west of Sultan’s Battery in the Wayanad District of Kerala. This cave on the Ambukuthy Hill range is assumed to have been inhabited at various stages in history. These caves feature 3 distinct sets of petroglyphs, with the earliest assumed to date back to more than 5000 years. The cave is on 2 levels.
Vallam Caves, Chennai
Vallam Caves are located just around 56 km from Chennai very close to Chengalpattu. These cave Temples carved out of giant rocks were built in the time of Pallava King Mahendra Varman and contains some of the oldest Tamil inscriptions dating between AD 610 and 675. 3 Caves stand on a small hillock. A flight of steps leads to the top from the base of the hill. The main cave is bigger than the other 2 and Dwarpalaks stand at the entrance of all the 3 caves.
Sittannavasal caves, Tiruchcharappalli
Sittannavasal caves are located 16 km north west of Pudukkottai town just 50 km from Tiruchcharappalli. Sittannavaasal is renowned essentially for its rock-cut cave temple housing some of the earliest and rare surviving Jain murals. The Sittannavaasal cave temple belonged to the period when Jainism was at its peak in Southern India and dates back to around 1st century (based on the Tamil-Brahmi inscription found on the cave floor). It is the only place where Tamil inscriptions in the time frame from 1st century BC to the 10th century AD are found.
Bedsa Caves, Lonavala
Bedsa Caves lies around 15 kms from Lonavala and 56 kms from Pune. Another fine specimen of Buddhist Cave and rock cut architecture, yet it is not very popular with the tourists. The USP of Bedsa Caves is the beautifully executed Chaitya which dates back to 2nd century BC. The Chaitya consists of four pillars, with carvings. On either sides of the main Chaitya you can notice water tanks dug on the rock surface.
Kedareshwar Cave, Kalyan
The huge Kedareshwar cave-temple is located within the ramparts of Harishchandragad Fort, to the right of Harishchandreshwar temple. It is some 86 km from Kalyan. The cave houses a Shiva lingam, surrounded by chilling waist deep water. The temple stands just on a single pillar as out of 4 supporting pillars 3 is broken.
Badami Cave, Hubli
The Badami Cave Temples carved out of soft Badami sandstone essentially consist of 4 caves. They are located in the Bagalkot district 128 km from Hubli. Dating back to 6th century they stand on a hill cliff. The four caves simple in style represent different religious sects. The entrance is like verandah supported with stone columns and brackets leading to a columned mantapa. The sanctum sanctorum is cut deep into the cave. The idols found inside are dedicated to gods of Hindu and Jain pantheon.
Jogimara cave, Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh
Adjoining the Sitabengra is the Jogimara cave made by cutting the ancient Ramgarh hills. The cave 15 ft long, 12 ft wide and 9 ft high houses a a rich heritage of paintings on its walls and roof. Considered as finest specimens of of cave paintings in India, the paintings depict several figures of saints. The Cave is supposed to have been carved out in 2nd or 3rd century B.C.