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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Incredible Caves in India

Incredible Caves in India

Elephanta Island Caves, MumbaiThese rock-cut old cave temples on the Elephanta Island date back to the Shilhara dynasty of the 9th and 12th century. There are a total of seven caves, which are located at a height of the 76 mt above sea level. Out of all the caves, there is one main cave, which has many large sculptured panels. These panels depict the Hindu god, Lord Shiva. HolidayIQ Traveller Amit Rao says, “It is a one-hour boat ride from the Gateway of India. The boat ride is a thrilling experience.”
Location: The Elephanta Caves are located on the Elephanta Island in the Arabian Sea, 10 km from the Gateway of India.
Best Time To Visit: Tourists can visit this place any time during the year. However, the caves are closed on Monday.

Badami Caves, KarnatakaThe four cave temples of Badami have intricate carvings, citing the mythological events and religious teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. HolidayIQ Traveller Mr. Reddy says, “Beware of the monkeys while you explore the caves.”
Location: Badami Caves are located near the red sandstone ridge in the northern part of the city.
Best Time To Visit: October to February

Khandagiri Caves, OdishaKhandagiri has a total of 15 caves. The caves can be reached either by climbing the flight of steps leading from the road, up from the main entrance of the Udayagiri Caves, or by cutting directly across the Hathi Gumpha, via the steps that drop down from Cave 17. 

HolidayIQ Traveller Muthu Kumaresan says, “The best way to explore the caves is to hire a guide and tell him the hours you are willing to spend there.”
Location: Khandagiri Caves are located in the vicinity of Bhubaneshwar. The caves of Khandagiri are located at a height of 118 feet on a hill rock slope facing the Udayagiri Caves.
Best Time: The best time to visit these caves is after the month of March

Undavalli Caves, GunturThe caves of Undavalli are one of the finest examples of rock cut architecture by the Buddhists in India. The most striking feature of Undavalli Caves is the 5 meter-long statue of the Lord Buddha in a reclining position. Another major attraction of the cave is the sculpture of the Lord Vishnu, which is made of a single block of granite.

Location: Undavalli Caves are located in Undavalli village in the district of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. The caves are located at the distance of 8 km from Vijaywada and 32 km from Guntur.
Best Time: The ideal time is between October and February.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves, AurangabadThe caves of Ajanta and Ellora are cut out from the volcanic lava of the Deccan plateau. There are a total of 29 caves in Ajanta. The caves housewell-preserved paintings, which include two great Boddhisattbvas, Padmapani, and Avalokiteshvara. There are total of 34 caves in Ellora with elaborate facades and exquisitely adorned interiors.

HolidayIQ Traveller Rahul Gupta says, “Do not miss to visit the Siddhadtha Gardens and Bibi Ka Maqbara - the Mausoleum of Akbar's Queen.”
Location: Ajanta Caves are located around 100 km and 30 km from Aurangabad respectively. The caves are open on all National holidays. They are closed Tuesday.
Best Time: Tourists can visit the caves at any time during the year.

Trichy Rock Fort Temple, Tamil Nadu
The Trichy Rock Fort Temple was constructed by the Nayaks of Madurai. The temples are built on a rocky outcrop at a height of 237 feet. 
Location: The TiruchirapalliRock Fortis a historicfortand the temple complex is built on an ancient rock.
Best Time: Any time of the year

Dungeshwari Cave Temples, Bihar

The Dungeshwari Cave Temples are also known as the Mahakala Caves located 12 km northeast of Bodhgaya. Lord Buddha underwent years of penance here before he went to Bodhgaya. A path across the river and up to the temples is 9 km from Bodhgaya on the road to Gaya. There are three main caves that have Hindu and Buddhist shrines.
Location: 12 km northeast of Bodhgaya, Bihar
Best time: October to March

Tabo, Himachal Pradesh
HolidayIQ Traveller Bikram Khalkho says, “It is a monastery established in 996 AD. The whole monastery is made of mud and there is a spiritual feeling as one enters into the monastery. There is no electrical source inside the temple but still, there are enough light sources to explore the place.”
The monastery is surrounded by a mud brick wall and has 9 temples, 23 chortens, along with the monks’ residence and a guest house for visitors.
Location: Known as the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas', the Tabo Monastery is located about 45 km from the town of Kaza, Spiti.
Best Time: June to early-October when the roads are open

Mahabalipuram caves in Tamilnadu.

The Barabar Caves are some 25Km north-east of Gaya, in the state of Bihar. The 12Km rough track leading to the caves turns east off the main road to Patna at Bela, (30m minutes from Gaya, 2 hrs from Patna) where buses stop. Bela is some 20Km north of Gaya. From there you should allow 4 hours to walk up, or 45 mins by 4-wheel drive along a very bumpy track. It is only safe to go in daylight, and not alone. Enquire about safety at Belagunj Police Station.

The whale-backed quartzite gneiss hill stands in wild and rugged country. Inscriptions reveal that, on instructions from Asoka (264-225 B.C.), four chambers were excavated, cut and chiseled to a high polish by the stone masons, as retreats for ascetics who belonged to a sect related to Jainism, the Ajivika sect. That polish still remains, 2,300 years later. Percy Brown pointed out that the extraordinary caves, particularly the Lomas Rishi and the Sudama, are exact copies of ordinary beehive huts built with bamboo, wood, and thatch. The barrel-vaulted chamber inside the Sudama, also known as the Nigoha-Kubha or Banyan tree cave, is 10m long, 6m wide, and 3.5m high which through a doorway leads to a circular cell of 6m in diameter. The most impressive craftsmanship is seen on the facade of the Lomas Rishi which replicates the horseshoe-shaped gable end of a wooden structure with two lunettes which have very fine carvings of lattice-work and rows of elephants paying homage to Buddhist stupas. Excavation is incomplete as there was a possibility of the cave collapsing. There is also a Siva temple on the nearby Siddheshwar peak.

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