Sacred Caves


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. 



LIST OF SACRED caves in india

Location  Name of the Caves
Andhra Pradesh  Ahobilam
Akka Mahadevi caves
Akkana and Madanna Caves
Bodhikonda and Ghanikonda
Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda
Borra caves
Guntupalli Caves
Kotturu Dhanadibbalu & Pandavula Guha
Mogalrajapuram caves
Nagarjunakonda caves
Undavalli Caves
Arunachal Pradesh Dukhang Caves
Meghna Cave
Assam Basistha Cave Temple
Jogighopa Cave Temples
Kamakhya Cave Temple
Suryapahar 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
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
Parashar Caves
Pitalkhora  Caves
Rajpuri Caves
Meghalaya Krem Mawjymbuin Cave
Marai Cave
Odisha   Barunei Caves
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
Kilmavilangai Cave
Kudumiyanmalai Rock cut Temple
Kuranganilmuttam Rock cut Temple
Mahendravadi Cave Temple
Malayadipatti Rock Cut Temples
Mandagapattu Cave Temple
Melacheri Cave Temple
Namakkal Caves
Narthamalai Caves
Rock Fort Caves
Seeyamangalam Rock cut Temples
Singaperumal cave temple
Thalavanur Satrumalleswara swamy cave temple
Thirumalapuram Rock Cut Temples
Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple
Thiruparankundram Rock cut  Temple
Vallam Rock Cut Temples
Telangana   Saleshwaram Cave Temple
Vyasa Muni Guha
Uttarakhand   Drona Cave
Koteshwar Mahadev Cave Temple
 Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave Temple
Shiva Gufa
Vashist Cave
Vyas cave
Budher Cave
Eco Cave Garden
Ganesh Gufa
Gauri Udiyar Cave
Gorcha Cave
Mahavatar Babaji Cave
Pandav Gufa
Robbers Cave
Timmersain Mahadev Cave
Uttar Pradesh Gupt Godavari
Muchkund Caves
West Bengal Mahakal Cave