Discover This Rock Cut Cave Temples of India

The idea of creating housing by cutting rock walls is said to have originated in Central Asia. Chinese Buddhist monks used this idea to build Buddhist temples where monks could live and pray. The first Buddhist cave temples at Dunhuang were begun in 366; at Bingling and may in the early fifth century; at Gungang in 460; at Longmen and Gongsian in the early sixth century.

There are countless rocky caves in India. Among them, many rocky caves of antiquity are revered and are places of worship. These cave temples are imbued with paintings, frescoes and sculptures, making them interesting places to learn about the era, Customs and practices.

Common features of cave temples

Most caves are circular or oblong in plan. The ceiling is dome-shaped. Some of them have columns that reach the ceiling, others have only a raised platform in the center. In some caves, the ceilings have an opening. Most of the cave temples are decorated with carved figures and Paintings.

Cave temple of India

Here are cave temples of India, some well known, some little less known. This is not a complete list, there are more cave temples in different parts of India. Let me know in the comment box how many you have seen among these cave temples of India.

Caves of Maharashtra

The caves are a group of 32 Buddhist caves in the picturesque Vagur River Valley near Aurangabad, Maharashtra. These cave temples date from the 2 century BC to 650 C. E. The Caves were discovered by chance in 1819 by John Smith, a member of a British hunting party. Since 1983 the caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Facts about the caves of Aianta

  • Highlight the paintings of the caves of Agianta, many of which still shine in their original colors.
  • How to get there – nearest airport-Aurangabad Airport, distance 5.5 km
  • Nearest railway station-Algaon town, about 60 km away
  • Opening hours-from 6 to 5.30
  • Best time to visit-in winter. Summers are unbearably hot

Ellora caves in Maharashtra

Ellora Caves are among the most beautiful cave temples in India, along with the AIANTA caves mentioned above. The fact that these two have UNESCO day makes them special. You can spend about 4-5 hours to see all the caves dug by the vertical wall of the charanandri Hills. Known locally as’Verul Leni’.

Facts Of The Ellora Caves

  • Highlight-Cluster of 34 cave temples of three religions, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain
  • How to get there-the nearest airport-Aurangabad Airport, 27 km from Aurangabad city
  • Nearest railway station-Aurangabad Railway Station is 28 km away
  • Opening Hours-Open from 8 am to 6 am. Times may vary depending on the season
  • Best time to visit-visit in winter. Summers are unbearably hot.
  • Further reading – for a cavernous description of Ellora Caves, check out my blog post: explore Ellora Caves: history and photo essay

Aurangabad caves in Maharashtra

In addition, the Aurangabad caves are not natural caves, but were dug from the mountains with primitive tools by Buddhist monks who lived in them at that time. These twelve rock Buddhist shrines are located about 20 km northwest of Aurangabad. They date back to the 6th and 8th centuries.

Aurangabad Cave Facts File

  • Highlight-interesting archaeological site
  • How to get there-nearest airport-Aurangabad Airport, 14.2 km away.
  • Nearest railway station-Aurangabad station, distance from 8 to 9 km.
  • Opening Hours-Open from 9 to 5 am.
  • Best Time To Visit-In Winter.

Kailasa cave in Maharashtra

Although it is included in the Ellora cave group, the Kailasa Temple deserves special mention for its unique features. It is the largest cave temple in India, the ceiling is open with a raised platform and a temple in the center.

Facts of the Kailasa Cave Temple

  • Highlight-about 2,00,000 tons of Rock have been removed to give it shape!
  • How to get there-the nearest airport-Aurangabad Airport, 27 km from Aurangabad city
  • Nearest railway station-Aurangabad Railway Station is 28 km away
  • Opening Hours-Open from 8 am to 6 am. Times may vary depending on the season
  • Best time to visit-if you are visiting the Ellora Caves, try to visit them first, in the morning when the crowd is smaller.

Elephant caves in Maharashtra

Elephanta Caves have a special place in my heart because this is the first cave temple I visited in my life in the nineties, on similar days. These caves are located on an island off the coast of Mumbai and are a great example of Indian rock art and architecture dedicated to Bhaghan Shiva. The first sight of Panchamukhi Shiva is still clearly remembered by me today. The caves received UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1987.

Facts about Elephanta Caves

  • Highlight – two days Elephanta Music Festival in January
  • How To Get There-Nearest Airport-Mumbai
  • Nearest ferry port – from the gate of India, you need to rent a ferry to get to the Elephanta Caves.
  • Opening hours open daily from 6 to 6.
  • Best time to visit-avoid the rainy season
  • Read more-UNESCO World Heritage Site

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