Dark, mysterious spaces, sometimes greeted by writings/illustrations on the walls, and backed by a rich history! Yes, we are talking about caves. Caves are probably one of the most interesting pieces of ancient architecture and history and make for good tourist destinations. Especially for those inclined toward art, architecture, and history, caves are the places to be! Read on to know about 4 caves you must visit in India.
The cave temples in Badami, Karnataka are a must visit for the beauty and serenity one gets to experience while there. The caves and the cave temples in Badami came into existence during the reign of the Chalukyas who had immense love for architecture.
Each of the cave temples is dedicated to a particular god or goddess. While three of the four cave temples are dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses, the fourth cave temple is a Jain temple. The first cave is themed on the Shaivite belief. The second cave is themed on the Vaishnavite belief. The third cave has both Shaivite and Vaishnavite themes. The fourth cave is a Jainite cave temple.
Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
The Ajanta and Ellora comprise numerous caves in the city of Aurangabad. The Ajanta caves are among the most ancient caves in India, dating back to 2nd century B.C. and 6th century A.D. Ajanta is a group of 29 caves while Ellora is a group of 34 caves dating back to the 6th and 11th centuries A.D. The Ajanta caves are based on the Buddhist principles while the Ellora caves are a mixture of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist beliefs. Visually, Ajanta caves are rich in paintings and sculpture while Ellora caves score high on exquisite architecture.
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
Mumbai is home to a beautiful set of caves in addition to the other tourist attractions the city has to offer, to its visitors. The Elephanta Caves are a group of seven rock-cut caves dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries, A.D. The first cave in this group has exquisite carvings of Shiva in different forms. These forms of Shiva carvings portray different avatars of Shiva and the various moods he was known for.
Undavalli Caves, Andhra Pradesh
The Undavalli caves are located on the banks of the river Krishna. These caves, dating back to the 7th century A.D. are said to have existed during the reign of the Vishnukundin Kings. Supposed to be dedicated to deities, Ananthapadmanabha Swamy and Narasimha Swamy, the caves are said to have been carved from solid sandstone. A number of caves collectively form the Undavalli caves and the major attraction is a four storied cave. This four storied cave houses an idol of Lord Vishnu in a reclining posture which has been carved out of a single granite slab. The caves have beautiful carvings grabbing the attention of the visitors.
Are you rubbing your hands in glee and waiting for the first opportunity to travel to these caves? Go ahead and explore, and do let us know how you liked the idea! Feel free to comment below, the names of other caves you think should have made to this list.