6 Most Mysterious Caves In India: India is home to some of the most stunning historical monuments, forts, palaces, temples, and breathtaking natural landscapes with rich and diverse cultural heritage. Many of them have stunning sculptures and carvings, while some have stalagmites and stalactites on them. And many of them are also one of the finest examples of various types of architecture of the ancient times.
6 Most Mysterious Caves In India
1. Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
The Elephanta Caves are a group of beautifully and skillfully sculpted caves located on the Elephanta Island off the Mumbai coast. The island consists of two groups of caves: 5 Hindu and 2 Buddhist. The Hindu caves contain rock-cut stone sculptures dedicated to Lord Shiva. The rock-cut architecture of the caves are said to date between the 5th and 8th centuries. No one knows who built the caves. The Portuguese took control in 1534. To preserve the beauty and treasure of the caves, the UNESCO has included it in its list of the World Heritage Sites. Therefore, Elephanta Caves is one of the most mysterious caves in India.
2. Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
Ellora is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in Maharashtra, the site presents monuments and artwork of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism from 600-1000 AD. The site features over 100 caves, of which only 34 caves are open to public. These consist of 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves, and 5 Jain caves. These caves were built during the rule of Chalukya and Rashtrakuta dynasties. The most popular one is Cave 32, which is also called ‘Indra Sabha’ and is basically a smaller version of the Kailash temple.
3. Borra Caves, Andhra Pradesh
Located in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, the Borra caves are one of the largest in India. It is also known as ‘Borra Guhalu’. Standing at an elevation of 705 meters, these caves display a variety of speleothems in different sizes and shapes. Having a depth of 80 meters, the caves are also considered to be the deepest in the country. It is said that William King George, who was a part of the Geographical Survey of India, discovered the caves in 1807.
4. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
The Ajanta Caves are about 29 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC to about 480 or 650 BC. It is located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The caves include paintings and rock-cut sculptures which are described as among the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art.The caves constitute ancient monasteries and worship halls of different Buddhist traditions carved into a 250 feet wall of rock. The caves also present paintings depicting the past lives and rebirths of the Buddha, pictorial tales from Arya Sura’s Jatakamala, as well as rock-cut sculptures of Buddhist deities. It is believed that these caves served as a monsoon retreat for monks, as well as a resting site for merchants and pilgrims in ancient India.
5. Amarnath Cave, Baltal, Jammu and Kashmir
Amarnath cave is a Hindu shrine situated at an altitude of 3,888 m in Jammu & Kashmir. It forms an important part of Hinduism, and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines. The ice stalagmite, which formed inside the cave and symbolizes the Shiva linga, is what attracts tourists from all over. Every year, thousands of pilgrims flock to this stunning place braving the extreme climatic conditions to offer their prayers and pay their respects. It is said that this is the spot where Shiva told his consort Parvati the secrets of life and eternity.
6. Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
Vaishno Devi temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples dedicated to the Goddess Mahalakshmi. It is located at the Trikuta Mountains in Jammu and Kashmir. Vaishno Devi shrine, located inside a cave, is visited by millions of pilgrims every year. The sanctum here is situated at a height of 5300 feet above sea level and the idol of the main deity is a stone structure which represents three goddesses – Saraswati, Kali and Lakshmi. The three deities symbolize creativity, preservative and destructive features of the Mother.