Traveling to mountains and beaches may be the most-sought plan but exploring just these hoopla items is costing you your knowledge about culture and the ancient happenings, as all of that is stuffed in the mystical caves of India. Caves are replete with priceless information, facts, and figurines that are rich in culture and that need to be assimilated.
So, for your next trip, make it an all caves itinerary and delve deep into the roots of ancient and antique Top 20 caves in India
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
In the vicinity of Aurangabad airport, lie the magnificent Ajanta and Ellora. These caves consist of a lot of ancient wall paintings, carvings, and scriptures of our beloved ancient India. This cave has also been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. The caves dedicated to Buddha contain archaic scriptures and writings written by scholars of those times which are fascinating and all-revealing. If visiting caves is on your itinerary, then keep these ones on top of it for sure.
Karla caves, Maharashtra
The haven for wooden architecture, Karla caves are one of a kind. The rock-cut designs here, perfectly emulate wooden architecture and gives off a nice, antique look which captures your gaze and makes you wonder. Replete with arched entrances, these caves are truly fascinating. The sine qua non of these caves is the Chaitya griha, which is one of the largest India, dating back to 200 BC. For your next trip, visit the Karla caves for sure.
Elephanta caves, Mumbai
Holding the status of a UNESCO world heritage site, Elephanta caves are mesmerizing, to say the least. The ancient scriptures speak for themselves as the sheer intricate craftsmanship is embedded in each curve. The ride to these caves is also thrill-filled as a ferry drop Is available for you. The famous ‘five stages in the life of an ascetic’ are depicted here with pride. So, put on your exploration caps and head to Elephanta caves for an intellectual epiphany.
Badami caves, Karnataka
Head to the holy land of Karnataka and witness the famous Badami caves, which hold exemplary religious and historical importance. The architecture here is heavily influenced by the Chalukya style of craftsmanship and is a beauty to behold. There are caves dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and the Jains which house sculptures of Mahavira, Hindu deities, and the 24 Tirthankaras. The origin of these caves dates back to 7th century A.D. Looking to visit caves? Don’t lose out on the Badami in Karnataka.
Amarnath cave, Jammu and Kashmir
Amarnath cave is one of the most popular shrines in Hindu culture. These caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva. On top of the religious importance, this cave is also of historical importance, claimed to be 5000 years old, anointed an important position in the Hindu mythologies and sagas. An ice stalagmite that emulates the famous Shiva linga is the main source of its importance and footprint. Amarnath cave is worth visiting, irrespective of your religion, owing to its sheer beauty and chastity.
Undavalli caves, Andhra Pradesh
Gracing the city of Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh, are the Undavalli caves, overlooking the banks of River Krishna. These caves are supposed to be built in 7th century A.D. by the fine craftsmanship of the Vishnukundin Kings. The architecture speaks for itself, having an imposing aura encircling the entire caves. The most famous in this cave is the part having the giant statue of Lord Vishnu sitting at an angle from the floor. If you’re ever in Vijaywada, do remember to call upon these caves.
Borra caves, Vishakapatnam
Located about 100 Km from Vishakapatnam are the Borra caves, world-renowned for their intricate sculptures and archaic beauty. These caves are said to be a 150 million years old and are truly mesmerizing, archaeological wonders. Due to the presence of the natural shiv lingam, the importance grows multifold. Other important formations include the Crocodile and the human brain. So, the next time you’re in Vishakapatnam, make it an obligation to visit the Borra caves and brace yourself for class-A amazement.
Mahakal cave, West Bengal
If you love treks and adventures, then the Mahakal cave is the cave for you. It consists of a tough but visually-pleasing trek alongside the Jayanti village. In the rainy season, these caves are inaccessible but during other seasons they can be visited. Though the trek is tough but the natural stalactite formations and the Shiva linga act as the trophies of achievement and provide a beautiful sense of gratification. Keep the Mahakal caves in your list for the next time you visit West Bengal.
Bhimbetka caves, Madhya Pradesh
Situated amongst the Ratapani wildlife sanctuary, the Bhimbetka caves are very picturesque and eye-catching. The rugged rocky texture and the smooth plush greens make for a soothing visual replete with intricate rock carvings and wall paintings that are the crowned jewels of these caves. As it is anointed with the UNESCO world heritage site status, it surely lives up to the expectation and delivers with the mystery it needs the visitor to unfold and discover for himself. If Bhopal is on your travel-plan, then the Bhimbetka caves must also be a staple.
Kutumsar caves, Chattisgarh
Gracing the Kanger valley national park, in Bastar, are the mythical Kutumsar caves that will quench your thirst for exploration. They are often flocked by people for the natural stalactites and stalagmites. They remain completely dark inside as there is no opening for sunlight to seep through. Sounds spooky? Isn’t it? Well, if a cave isn’t a bit imposing, it is not true to its nature. So, the time you feel you don’t scare easy, come to the Kutumsar caves and test that thought.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves, Orissa
Some miles off Bhubaneshwar, lie the famous caves of Udaygiri and Khandagiri that you must have heard people talk about. These caves in india are dedicated to the vast and grand heritage of Jainism. The tiger mouth and Queen palace of Udayagiri are the most famous and for Khandagiri, the 15 rock-cut Jain shelters hold a similar position. There are intricate and meaningful carvings of Jain scriptures and depictions which are truly a chest of treasure. Thinking caves? Think Orissa.
Barabar caves, Bihar
If you are searching for the oldest caves in India, Barabar caves will surely be among the top competitor caves. Believed to be established in the grandiose Mauryan Empire, these caves hold significant historical importance. There are four caves here, all of which are equally fascinating and a treat to explore. The style of this architecture is state-of-the-art as displayed by intricate rock-cutting techniques. Live in Bihar and never witnessed the Barabar caves? You’re missing out on the adventures of life, my friend.
Narlai village, Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the home of old forts and temples and also is famous for the Narlai village, located in the middle of Udaipur and Jodhpur. It is an off-beat destination to outcast oneself from the usual travel places and explore some mystical and covert caves. The nexus here rests on the cave temple of Lord Shiva, where the famous sage Narada Muni, believes to have meditated. If you visit the desert lands of Rajasthan, be sure to pay Narlai village and its caves a visit.
Pataleshwar caves, Maharashtra
The rock-cut architecture of the Pataleshwar caves resembles that of the Ellora caves, therefore is equally beautiful and intricate. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Nandi, this cave’s origins date back to the 8th century A.D. A perfect getaway from the mundane routine lives of today, these caves offer a chance at exploration and ultimately bliss. Spend a splendid day here with friends or family and through the course of the tour, maybe find your inner self.
Mawsmai caves, Meghalaya
An entry from the northeast region of India is not just essential but equally deserving. The pride of Meghalaya and Mawsmai caves in India are beautiful editions and offer a contrast to cave culture as they are adequately lit throughout and people with claustrophobia need not worry. The limestone formations here are a sight to behold and instant eye-catchers. There is a complex network of chambers and pathways for you to meander through.
Tabo caves, Himachal Pradesh
The Tabo caves are the perfect amalgamation of a mountain and a cave trip. These are believed to be carved out of the hills and are believed to be the meditation spots for Buddhist monks who still come here during the wintertime. So, what are you waiting for? Book tickets today.
Trichi caves, Madurai
Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu, the Trichi caves are a sub-part of the famous Tiruhipalli Rock Fort complex. They are rumored to be built by the Pallavas, Cholas, and Nayaks of Madurai, hence, possess significant historical importance.
Krem Liat Prah, Meghalaya
Situated in the Jaintia hills, Krem Liat Prah cave is the longest natural caves in India. Several parts of the cave still remain unexplored due to the exemplary vastness of 34 km and are still being surveyed. It is tucked into the folds of the renowned Shongrim ridge. So, pack your exploration bags and visit the northeast for this humdinger of a cave.
Belum caves, Andhra Pradesh
Belum caves in india have a lot of fascinating stuff about it such as it has the deepest point at 120 feet below entry-level and it is the second-largest natural cave of India. With just 250 km away from Bangalore, it serves as the perfect exploration weekend for the IT hub of India. These caves are also said to be occupied by Buddhist monks. So gear up your exploration game and brace for this magnificent challenge.
A naturally formed temple cave, the Nellitheertha has an intriguing story behind its name. There is a lake from which water drips into the cave with droplets in the shape of a gooseberry, directly on to a Shiv linga. Thus the name Nellitheertha, Nelli being Kannada for gooseberry and Teertha for Holy water. Never forget to visit this magnificent cave on your next trip to Karnataka.