Explore the top 10 caves in India. Learn about the history and culture of each Cave and learn some general tips and tricks about visiting these beautiful destinations.
Caves are underground chambers in hills that are enough for humans to explore. These caves are made with chemical reactions with underground water and bedrock of dolomite. India has a rich diversity of caves; some are natural, and some are manufactured. Buddhists and Jains used these caves for worship and residential purposes. An Archaeological Survey of India maintained many ancient caves. These caves are decorated with old paintings, and you can spend a qualitative time with friends and family. History buffs can explore the ancient history of the architectural value of these caves. The most famous top 10 caves in India are listed below:
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
These caves are located at the hillside in Jalgaon town of Maharashtra and are famous for their unique art and sculpture. Ajanta and Ellora Caves were developed in the 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD and included in the Unesco World Heritage Centre. These caves depict the development of art from the old era to modern times. Buddhist architecture can be observed richly in these caves. June to March is a pleasant weather and season to explore the history of this area. As you visit these caves, you will observe intricate paintings, ancient monasteries, and worship halls.
- Rs. 40 In Cash And Rs. 35 Online per person for Indians
- Rs. 600 In Cash And Rs. 550 Online per person Foreign tourists
- Wednesday To Monday : 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Tuesday : Closed/Holiday
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
- Rs. 40/- per person for Indians
- Rs. 600/- per person Foreign tourists
- Tuesday To Sunday : 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
- Monday : Closed/Holiday
The caves are on Elephanta Island, 10 km from Mumbai to the southeast coast. By ferry from Mumbai, the accessibility to these caves is easily possible. The primary figure of these caves was thought to be an elephant, therefore, famous as elephant caves. These rock-cut caves are popular for having artistic wall carvings and sculptures to present Hindu and Buddhist ideas of worship and temple building on hills with rock-cut techniques. Indian art can be observed at its peak on this island. The winter season, from November to March, is ideal for celebrating these caves’ history and artistic beauty.
Badami Cave Temples, Karnataka
- Rs. 25/- per person for Indians
- Rs. 600/- per person Foreign tourists
- 9: 00 am – 5:30 pm Everyday
Badami caves are found in the central part of Karnataka, India. The architectural style of these caves is a beautiful blend of north Indian and south Indian styles. The temples on shelters are dedicated to Hindu gods. 1st temple of the Cave is dedicated to lord Shiva. This monument is famous for having paintings depicting animals and human figures. Badami railway station is the nearest location to get access to Badami caves. People can also travel by bus or by air. The area is a habitat for monkeys, so don’t feed the animals, as it can make them aggressive, and they can snatch food from children.
Borra Caves, Andhra Pradesh
These historic caves are located in the Ananthagiri hills range in Andhra Pradesh, India. The caves are well connected by railway, bus, and air connectivity. Walking tours in these monuments present a beautiful mountain view, rich in flora and fauna. November and December are ideal months to enjoy the artistic beauty of these caves. These caves are made of karstic limestone and are considered the deepest caves in India, with an 80m depth. This destination was discovered by British geologists in 1807 and is expected to have 150 million ancient caves.
- Rs. 60 per person for adult
- Rs. 45 per person for children
- Rs. 25 for phone camera
- Rs. 100 for digital/still camera
- Rs. 100 for video camera
- 10: 00 am – 5:00 pm Everyday
Karla Caves, Maharashtra
The uniqueness of these caves lies in Chaitya Hall, the largest hall used for worship and prayer. The beautiful paintings and sculptures of Buddhist deities are installed inside the caves. The pictures are executed in red and white; yellow and green are used occasionally. These paintings depict the lives of people who lived in caves. Scenes of childbirth, communal dancing and drinking, religious rituals, and culture are expressed through these paintings. You can reach Karla Caves by public transport to Lonavala because Lonavala offers regular taxi services for Maharashtra.
- Rs. 15/- per person for Indians
- Rs. 300/- per person Foreign tourists
- 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Everyday
Bhaja Caves, Maharashtra
Bhaja Caves are situated at 15 km distance from Lonavala. The opening hours for these caves are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. These caves have similarities with Karla caves in art and architectural style. These caves present the historical importance of the Indian percussion instrument, the tabla. As in a painting, a woman plays the instrument, and the other is dancing to music. A beautiful seasonal waterfall is also a fabulous point to visit in these caves. Fourteen stupas are the prominent feature in caves, used as a residential place for monks. 3 to 4 hours are enough to explore these caves. The caves present ancient Indian architecture, and lush greenery around the caves makes this place a hub of beauty.
- Rs. 5/- per person for Indians
- Rs. 100/- per person Foreign tourists
- 8:00 am – 6:00 pm Everyday
Bedse Caves, Maharashtra
Entry Fee : Free
Timing : 8:00 am – 6:30 pm
Bedse Caves are also a group of Buddhist rock-cut monuments. These caves are situated in Pune District, Maharashtra. You can reach these caves with a hike of 400 steps. The best time to visit these caves is the rainy season because, in this season, the surrounding hills are filled with lush greenery and present a picturesque view of the caves. These historical monuments were built in the 1st century BC. Bedse are manufactured caves constructed by Ashoka, the emperor of India, from 269BC to 232BC as the main caves were developed towards the East; an early morning visit will enable you to explore the beauty of the Cave to its full due to the light of sunshine.
Lenyadri Caves, Maharashtra
- Rs. 10 per person for Indians
8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Lenyadri Caves, known as Ganesa Lena, are in North Junar in Pune District. These are the largest number of caves situated in one place in the county. Around 200 caves are there in one hill series. These caves are similar in architecture to Ellora Caves. The temple Ganesa is considered the birthplace of lord Ganesh, and it is described that Goddess Parvati spent 12 years in meditation for the birth of her son in these caves. The pillars of caves are made in octagonal shape and wonder the visitors with their magnificent construction style. August to September are the ideal months to visit the caves.
Aurangabad Caves, Maharashtra
- Rs. 10 per person for Indians
- Rs. 100 per person for Foreign tourists
- Everyday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Aurangabad Caves are also worth visiting but are less known than Ellora Caves. These monuments are closed on Mondays and open on other weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prominent viharas are made in caves used as residential cells by Buddhist monks. These caves are the smallest in size and number; only 12 shelters are included in this series. This place is wonderful for history buffs and presents an outstanding outing. Ancient sculptures on caves are dedicated to deities who spend their time in meditation in these caves. Always visit these caves with a guide to explore the history and wear comfortable footwear, as you must climb steep hills.
Mawsmai Cave, Meghalaya
- Children Below 10 Year
Rs. 20/- Per Person
9:00 am – 5:30 am
Mawsmai Cave is also famous as Krem Mawsmai in locals. The characteristic that makes Cave distinguishable from others is having fossils in it. The approaching trek of Cave is also attractive, a short walk from a wooded area, and the sounds of chirping birds and cracking insects will catch your attention. After visiting the Cave, many visitors sit to relax in these forests. A stop at Mawkdok is also well known for spectacular views, and zip line activity is available at this stop for tourists. The Cave is so small that you must pass by, squeezing and crawling in some places. This beautiful Cave will be a memorable trip for you. Photography is allowed in the Cave, so Don’t forget to have a camera with you to capture the beauty of this astonishing place.
The article highlights the diversity and beauty of the top 10 caves in India. If you want to plan your trip, the article will help you finalize your desired destination. Explore the historic importance and magnificent old rock-cut architectural style of India. Before going to your planned place, pack all your essential accessories like a camera, sunglasses, sun cream, and basic medication in your backpack. Follow the guidelines by tour guides to make your trip memorable and enjoyable. So book your tickets and explore your forefathers’ culture and historical backgrounds.