Five mysterious caves in India

Legends are associated with almost every ancient cave in India but some of them are shrouded in mystery. One of the ancient Indian caves is believed to house treasures that require a password while another one holds the secret to the end of the world

Team 30 Stades
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Five mysterious caves in India

Five mysterious caves in India

Caves across India are an integral part of the country’s rich history. Carved out of rocks, sometimes a single piece, these caves were places of meditation, worship, and artistic expression. Thousands of caves found across India, from Kashmir to Kerala and Manipur to Gujarat, are a testimony to the skills of craftsmen and architects in ancient India.

If Almora’s Lakhudiyar caves house Stone Age paintings, Ellora Caves’ magnificent Kailasa Temple has been carved from a single rock! Legends are associated with almost every ancient cave, the oldest being the rock-cut Barabar Hill Caves dating back to the Maurya Empire and located in the Jehanabad district of Bihar.

Many of the caves are believed to have been built or used by Pandavas during their 13-year exile out of which they spent the last year hiding in forests.

Some of these caves are shrouded in mystery. These caves are not restricted to any single place or state and are found across the length and breadth of the country. One of them is believed to hold secret treasures while another one is said to be connected to Russia. Here are five caves with mysteries around them:

1. Son Bhandar caves, Bihar

These caves in Rajgir town of Bihar are believed to be housing a treasure. But one needs to find the 'password' to open the doorway to riches. No one has been able to crack open the code in over 1500 years.  

The legend of the treasure buried inside the caves was so popular that even Mughal kings and the British tried to find it.

The Mughal rulers searched every inch of the caves but found nothing. The British went a step ahead and brought cannons to blow up the 1500-year-old caves to satisfy their greed.

However, the cannon balls were ineffective and only made some circular impressions on the walls which can be seen to this day.

Khul ja sim sim: Bihar’s Son Bhandar caves need a magic code to unearth a treasure
Entrance to Son Bhandar. Pic: Wikipedia

The legend of the Son Bhandar caves dates back to the rule of King Bimbisara, the grandfather of King Ashoka.  One of Bimbisara’s queens then took the help of a Jain monk to safeguard the king’s wealth. She handed over the riches to the monk Vaira Devan for safekeeping. The legend goes that Vaira Devan hid the treasure in the cave and sealed it using his spiritual powers.

More here: Khul ja sim sim: Bihar’s Son Bhandar caves need a magic code to unearth a treasure

2. Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave, Uttarakhand

A limestone cave about 13km from Gangolighat in the Pithoragarh district, this cave holds the secret to the end of the world. Home to a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the cave can be accessed through a long and narrow tunnel.

As per Skanda Purana, Lord Shiva resides in Patal Bhuvaneshwar where all the gods and goddesses come to worship him. The temple's origins trace back to the reign of King Rituparna from the Surya dynasty, who ruled Ayodhya during the Treta Yuga era. He was the first human to discover the cave.

patal bhuvneshwar
Patal Bhuvneshwar Cave. Pic: Wikipedia

It is also said that Pandavas came to the cave for worship during their exile in the Dwapar Yuga. There are four entrances inside the cave -- ‘Paap dwar’ (Door of Sin), ‘Rann dwar’ (Door of War), ‘Dharm dwar’ (Door of Dharma) and ‘Moksha dwar’ (Door of Liberation). The Paap dwar was closed after the death of Ravana and the Rann dwar was closed after the Mahabharata War. The Dharm dwar and Moksha dwar gates are open as of now.

3. Kalaroos Caves, Kashmir

The Kalaroos caves in Kashmir’s village of the same name are one of the most mysterious sites in the valley. Located in North Kashmir's Kupwara district, about 130 km from Srinagar, many believe these caves have secret tunnels that end in Russia.

The Kalaroos village derives its name from the myths related to the caves, earlier called Qila-e-Roos, which means Russian Fort. These caves attract people from adjoining areas.

There is a giant carved stone at the end of the Lashtyal village named 'Satbaran'. The stone has seven doors, known as 'SathBarr' in local parlance.

Locals say the doors symbolize seven distinct routes to Russia and neighbouring countries.

Some believe it was a temple in the ancient era where the Pandavas used to worship.

Kalaroos caves: Kashmir’s Russia connection through tunnels
Kalaroos Caves, Kashmir. Pic: 30Stades

More here: Kalaroos caves: Kashmir’s Russia connection through tunnels

4. Guna Caves, Tamil Nadu

 Mystery, history, and mythology come together at Devil’s Kitchen on the Moir Point Road, about 10 km from the picturesque Kodaikanal hill station in Tamil Nadu. Devil’s Kitchen is a group of spooky rocks that became famous after the 1992 Tamil blockbuster movie ‘Guna’ was shot there. Since then, they are also known as Guna Caves.

The dark caves are home to bats because they offer optimal humidity and stable temperatures for their survival and growth. Seeing bats hanging upside-down from the ceiling of caves is not for the faint-hearted. The presence of these bats in the darkness of the caves has led to the name Devil’s Kitchen.

The deep narrow caves are now barricaded with iron grills to restrict entry to risky spots. 

They are, however, clearly visible from a few safe positions.

bats at guna caves
Guna Caves, Tamil Nadu. Pic: Flickr

More here: Devil’s Kitchen: The mystical caves in Tamil Nadu

5. Borra Caves, Andhra Pradesh

They were discovered by William King George of the Geological Survey of India in 1807. However, as per local legend, it was a cowherd who saw the caves while searching for his lost cow. Inside, he saw a naturally formed Shivalingam and also found his cow. The local tribal community built a shrine for Lord Shiva outside the cave.

Another belief suggests that the Shiva Lingam found within the caves has a stone formation resembling a cow above it. Its udder is believed to be the source of the Gosthani River flowing through Vizag city.

Borra Caves, Andhra Pradesh. Pic: Flickr

The Borra Caves were formed due to the erosive forces of the Gosthani River on limestone deposits. Its stalactite and stalagmite formations are named after the resemblances with Shiva-Parvathi, Rishi's Beard, Mother-Child, Crocodile, Human Brain, Tiger, and Cow's Udder.

The caves are predominantly inhabited by bats, sustaining themselves on nectar from various fruits like jamun, guava, and mango.

Also Read: Almora’s Lakhudiyar caves that house Stone Age paintings

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