As one of the oldest civilisations in the world, India is a treasure trove of mystical and mysterious caves. While some are known for their religious significance, others are known for the meticulous carvings and sculptures dating back to pre-historic times. Tucked in the forests, mountains and valleys, these are some of the best caves in India.
Ajanta Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
A hit among domestic and international travellers, Ajanta Ellora Caves are a set of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples with some of the finest specimens of sculptures and carvings. A UNESCO world heritage site, these caves house massive rock carvings in the motifs of birds, animals and humans. There are about 34 caves at Ellora and 29 caves at Ajanta, and must especially be visited by history buffs.
Krem Liat Prah, Meghalaya
If you’re a trekker or a nature enthusiast, the dark and massive cave network tucked in the Shnongrim Ridge of Jaintia Hills is a must-visit for you. It is the longest natural cave in India and parts of it remain unexplored till date. Camping, accommodation and tour programs are arranged here by the Meghalaya Tourism. Even taxis from Shillong to Krem Liat Prah is organised by them.
Bhimbetka Caves, Madhya Pradesh
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhimbetka Caves is situated inside a famous wildlife reserve called the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary. It is known to be the home of the earliest artworks of mankind; such as the intricate wall carvings and wall paintings depicting lifestyle scenes from prehistoric times.
Koteshwar Temple Cave, Uttarakhand
About 3km from Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand, Koteshwar Caves are a major Hindu pilgrimage site. It is believed that Lord Shiva had stopped here to meditate on his way to Kedarnath. Surrounded by lush greenery located on the banks of river Alaknanda, these caves are a treat to the eyes.
Badami Caves, Karnataka
Dating back to the 6th-century and made of red sandstone on the precipice of a hill, Badami Caves are the greatest examples of Indian rock-cut architecture. Among the four caves here, two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one to Lord Shiva and one to the Jains.