7 Spectacular Caves In India For The Explorer In You

With an element of wonder and adventure, caves are definitely the hidden treasure troves with a lot to explore about them. Here is a list of some of the popular caves across India and everything you need to know about them.

Published On Sep 25, 2023 | Updated On Mar 06, 2024


From cave temples to featuring carvings and sculptures dating back to the prehistoric era, caves are definitely a significant part of the Indian heritage. With a lot still unexplored, caves give out an element of wonder. India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and there are a number of caves situated within the country which have significance in terms of spirituality, history and science. Let us explore some of the well-known caves in India from Bhimbetka Caves in Andhra Pradesh to Udayagiri Caves in Odisha.

Famous caves in India you should explore


The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are some of the most well-known caves in India located in the state of Maharashtra. There are a total of 34 caves situated at Ellora and 29 caves situated at Ajanta. These caves feature ancient religious paintings and sculptures, which date back to the 6th and 11th century AD, and some are even from the 2nd and the 6th century BC. The sculptures in the caves at Ajanta are mostly a part of Buddhism, while the Ellora caves hold great significance in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, featuring deities from these religions.

Location: Jalgaon, Maharashtra
Timings: 6:00 am- 6:00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 40 per person


A part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Bhimbetka Caves are located in Madhya Pradesh. These caves are a part of the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary and are a site for the preservation of some of the earliest artworks made by mankind. These caves are known for their depiction of intricate rock carvings and cave wall paintings, which portray the lifestyle of the prehistoric Stone Age. As per legends and folktales, it is also believed that these caves were where the Pandavas from Mahabharata took shelter at the time of their exile.

Location: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Timings: 7:00 am- 6:00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 25 per person


Located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Cave is a famous Hindu shrine. Considered one of the holiest places in the country, this cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The ice stalagmite here resembles the Shiva Linga, which also expands and contracts as per the different cycles of the moon. Situated at an altitude of 3888 metres above sea level, this cave is believed to be more than 5000 years old. Holding great significance in Hinduism, according to legends this is the cave where Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine companion Parvati.

Location: Baltal Amarnath Trek, Forest Block, Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
Timings: 6:00- 6:00 pm
Entry fee: Free


Located in the popular hill station of Maharashtra, in Lonavala, the Karla Caves is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country. These caves are a complex structure of rock-cut ancient Buddhist caves, dating back to 200 BC. The rock-cut structures of the cave resemble wood carvings and are among the major attractions here. There are intricate embellishments on the walls of the cave, and an Ashokan Pillar is situated at the front of the cave.

Location: Lonavala, Maharashtra 
Timings: 9:00 am- 7:00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 15 per person


Located in Odisha, the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves are well-known caves portraying the cultural heritage of Jainism. The Udayagiri caves consist of a total of 33 rock-cut chambers that showcase Hindu and Jain scriptures and paintings. The Khandagiri Caves is a collection of 15 rock-cut Jain shelters, featuring incredible carvings of women, athletes and animals. These caves date back to the golden age of the Gupta Period between 350 to 550 AD. These caves represent the most famous sculpture of a majestic 5-foot-tall statue of Vishnu’s Boar Avatar.

Location: Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Timings: 9:00 am- 6:00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 15 per person


Located in Tamil Nadu, the Varaha Caves are a part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Representing the architecture of the Pallava rule, these caves consist of a complex structure of rock-cut caves. Featuring beautiful carvings, sculptures and magnificent artistry, these caves are a major tourist attraction in the southern part of the country. The caves are dedicated to the Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu and is the perfect amalgamation of Buddhist and Dravidian designs.

Location: Mada Koil Street, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Timings: 9:00 am- 6:00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 10 per person


Mawsmai Caves in Meghalaya are natural limestone caves. Formed by stalactite and stalagmite formations, it is one of the most stunning natural caves in India. These caves are fully lighted and visitors have to crawl through the narrow passages of the cave. Located near the beautiful Nohsngithiang Falls, these caves are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.

Location: Mawsmai Village, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
Timings: 9:00 am- 5:30 pm
Entry fee: Rs 20 per person

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