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INTRODUCTION 

 

 

A cave is a cavity inside the earth which may be either natural or artificial in origin. Natural caves come into existence by the action of water or tectonic displacement. Since time memorial both natural and artificial caves have served humankind in various capacities.  

Caves are considered sacred if they are associated with Gods, Goddesses, deities or mythical and magical figures, saints and preachers. They are also considered sacred if they are source of sacred rivers and streams or house sacred animals.

The use of caves for religious practices by individuals and groups extends back in time for at least several millennia in India. The Buddha dwelled and meditated in caves, forests, and other kinds of natural sites, practices which became common for Buddhist monks and nuns during his lifetime and beyond. Whenever Buddhism spread beyond India into other parts of Asia the religious use of caves spread as well. The same was the case with Jain Thirthankaras and their followers. Caves serve monks and nuns as secluded and peaceful places for monastic life, meditation, and chanting. A holy person might dwell in a cave for merely a few days or for months or even years. (1)

Caves affect the environment in positive ways. They support a natural habitat for life forms that require consistent temperatures and dark living conditions. Caves provide a valuable, clean water source that's naturally preserved in underground rock formations. As long as caves are free of human-initiated pollutants, they contribute to the environment in healthy ways and aid in the overall cycle of life. (2)

Sacredness associated with caves has played an important role in their conservation and thus helped in conserving the biodiversity. Indeed, sacred caves may be one component of a very ancient, widespread, and diverse system of sacred places throughout much of Asia which traditionally had far reaching significance for environmental and biodiversity conservation.  

 

 

 Source: 

 

 

 

LIST OF SACRED CAVES

 

 

State

Caves

Andhra Pradesh

 

 

Mogalrajapuram caves

 

Ahobilam

 

Akkana and Madanna Caves

 

Yadagirigutta 

 

Guntupalli Caves

 

Bodhikonda and Ghanikonda

 

Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda

 

Borra caves

 

Akiripalli 

 

Yaganti

 

Nagarjunakonda caves

 

Akka Mahadevi caves

 

Saleshwaram Cave Temple

 

Kotturu Dhanadibbalu & Pandavula Guha

 

 

Assam

 

 

Basistha Cave Temple

 

Jogighopa Cave Temples

 

Kamakhya Cave Temple

 

Suryapahar cave

 

 

Arunachal Pradesh

 

 

Dukhang Caves

 

Meghna Cave

 

 

Bihar

 

 

Barabar Caves 

 

Dungeshwari Cave Temples or Mahakala caves

 

Indasala Caves

 

Patalpuri and Bateshwar cave

 

Pippala cave

 

Saptparni Cave or Sattaparnaguha Cave

 

Sonbhandar caves

 

 

Chhattisgarh

 

 

Bel Mahadev Cave

 

Jogi Cave

 

Kailash Caves

 

Khuriarani Cave

 

Kutumsar Cave

 

Ramgarh and Sita Bengra caves

 

Sitamani Temples and Caves

 

 

Goa

 

 

Arvalem Caves

 

Dabos Cave

 

Khandepar caves

 

Lamgau Caves

 

Mangueshi Cave

 

Narve Caves 

 

Rivona caves

 

 

Gujarat

 

 

Baba Pyare Caves

 

Devni Mori

 

Jami Masjid Cave

 

Kadia Dungar Caves 

 

Khambhalida Caves

 

Khapra Kodiya Caves

 

Sana Caves 

 

Siyot caves

 

Talaja Caves 

 

Uperkot caves

 

Vadnagar cave or Jogida ni Gufa

 

 

Himachal Pradesh

 

 

Arjuna Gufa

 

Baba Balaknath Cave Temple

 

Dhoongri Temple

 

Masrur Rock Cut Temples

 

Tabo Monastery

 

Trilokpur Lord Shiva Cave

 

 

Jammu and Kashmir

 

 

Adkuwari Cave temple

 

Amarnath cave 

 

Baba Dhansar cave

 

Bumzu or Bhaumajo Caves

 

Butta Guffa

 

Mahanaal cave

 

Moungri cave

 

Peer Kho Cave Temple

 

Phuktal Gonpa

 

Saspol Caves 

 

Shergol Cave monastery

 

Shiv Khori Cave Temple

 

Takthok monastery

 

Vaishno Devi Cave temple

 

Visvesvara Caves

 

 

Jharkhand

 

 

Anjani gufa

 

Bhairo Baba caves

 

Kunda Cave

 

Malmalpur and Shitalpur Caves

 

Panch Pandava Pahar

 

Pandulata and Ghorlata Caves

 

Shivgadi Cave Temple

 

Taponath Mahadeva cave temple

 

 

Karnataka

 

 

Aihole Caves

 

Badami Caves

 

Gandhal Cave

 

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple 

 

Hulimav Cave Temple

 

Kaiwara Gavi (Caves)

 

Kavala Caves 

 

Narasimha Zarana Cave Temple 

 

Sri Somanatheshwara Cave temple, Nellitheertha

 

Sugreeva's cave

 

Yana Caves

 

 

Kerala

 

 

Kallil cave temple Methala

 

Kaviyoor Thrikkakkudi Cave Temple

 

Kottukkal cave temple

 

Madavoorpara Siva Rock Cut temple

 

Punarjani Guha

 

Sree Irunilamkode cave temple

 

Trikkur Mahadeva Rock Cut Temple

 

Vizhinjam Rock Cut Caves 

 

 

Madhya Pradesh

 

 

Bagh Caves

 

Bhartrihari caves

 

Dhamnar Caves

 

Jatashankar

 

Pandav Caves

 

Sri Govinda Bhagavatpada Cave

 

Udayagiri Caves

 

 

Maharashtra

 

 

Ajanta Caves

 

Aurangabad Caves

 

Bedse Caves

 

Bhaja Caves

 

Dandoba Mahadev Cave Temple

 

Dharashiv caves

 

Dhokeshwar Mahadeva temple

 

Elephanta Caves

 

Ellora Caves

 

Jogeshwari caves

 

Kachargadh Caves

 

Kanheri Caves

 

Karla Caves

 

Kondana Caves

 

Lenyadri Group of Caves, Junnar

 

Mahakali Caves

 

Mandapeshwar Caves 

 

Pandu Leni 

 

Panhala Caves

 

Pitalkhora  Caves

 

Rajpuri Caves

 

 

Meghalaya

 

 

Krem Mawjymbuin Cave

 

Marai Cave

 

 

Odisha

 

 

Barunei Cave

 

Budhakhol Caves

 

Devagiri Hill Cave

 

Gupteswar Cave

 

Koilighugar Cave

 

Lalitgiri Caves

 

Mahuri Kalua Temple

 

Narangarh Cave

 

Olasuni Gumpha

 

Padapadma Gumpha and Sita Gumpha

 

Patali Srikhetra

 

Ramchandi Cave Temple

 

Ratnagiri caves

 

Sitabhinji Cave

 

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves

 

 

Punjab

 

 

Gurdaspur caves

 

Mukteshwar cave temple

 

 

Rajasthan

 

 

Adhar Devi cave temple

 

Binnayaga Buddhist caves 

 

Hathiagor Buddhist Caves 

 

Kolvi Caves 

 

Madareshwar Cave Temple

 

Niranjani cave

 

Parshuram Mahadev Cave Temple 

 

 

 Sikkim

 

 

Byang Lhari- rinchen- nying Phug

 

Lho Khandro- Sang Phug

 

Nub-Dechén Phug

 

Shar- chok Bé Phug

 

 

Tamil Nadu

 

 

Arittapatti Caves

 

Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram 

 

Gokarnesvara Cave Temple, Thirugokarnam

 

Karpaga Vinayagar Cave Temple

 

Kazhugumalai Rock Cut Temples

 

Keelavalavu

 

Kilmavilangai Cave

 

Kudumiyanmalai Rock cut Temple

 

Kunnandarkoil

 

Kuranganilmuttam Rock cut Temple

 

Mahendravadi Cave Temple

 

Malayadipatti Rock Cut Temples 

 

Mandagapattu Cave Temple 

 

Melacheri Cave Temple

 

Namakkal Caves

 

Narthamalai Caves

 

Rock Fort Caves

 

Rudravalisvaram rock-cut temple Mamandur

 

Sathyamurthy Perumal Temple

 

Seeyamangalam Rock cut Temples

 

Singaperumal cave temple

 

Singavaram

 

Sittannavasal

 

Thalavanur Satrumalleswara swamy cave temple

 

Thirukazhukundram

 

Thirumalapuram Rock Cut Temples

 

Thirumayam

 

Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple

 

Thiruparankundram Rock cut  Temple

 

Thiruvellarai

 

Vallam Rock Cut Temples

 

Vallimalai 

 

Vilappakkam

 

 

Telangana

 

 

Saleshwaram Cave Temple

 

Vyasa Muni Guha

 

Yadagirigutta 

 

 

Uttarakhand

 

 

Drona Cave

 

Koteshwar Mahadev Cave Temple

 

Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave Temple

 

Shiva Gufa

 

Vashist Cave

 

Vyas cave

 

 

UttarPradesh

 

 

Gupt Godavari

 

Muchkund Caves

 

Prabhosa

 

 

West Bengal

 

 

Mahakal Cave



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