Top 6 Rock- Cut Cave Temples In India | Oldest Temples

The pancha RATHAS, Mahabalipuram

Pancha Rathas is a monument at Mahabalipuram, in Kanchipuram district. It is an example of monolithic Indian Rock-cut architecture. This temple was built by the Pallavas dynasty in early 7th century AD. Pancha Rathas were curved during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I. Pancha Rathas is also called as Pandava Rathas. Pancha Rathas named Dharmaraja Ratha, Draupadi Ratha, Bhima Ratha, Arjuna Ratha, and Nakula Sahadeva Ratha. It is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Amarnath Temple, Kashmir:

Amaranth temple is located in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir. It is a Hindu Shrine, represents an important part of Hinduism. The cave is surrounded by Mountains of snow. The main deity of this Temple is Lord Shiva. Inside the high cave (40m), the Linga was formed due to the freezing water that fall from the roof of the Cave. It is considered as Shiva Linga by Hindus. It is believed that, this is the place where Shiva explained about the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort, Parvati, according to Hindu belief. Thousands of Hindus and other devotees make an annual Pilgrimage to Amaranth.

Varaha Cave Temples, Tamil Nadu:

Varaha Cave Temple is located in Mamallapuram in Kanchipuram district. The temple was built by Pallavas Dynasty in late 7th century. The Varaha cave temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has the sculpture of incarnations of Lord Vishnu. “Varaha” means “boar”, and it is the 3rd of the ten incarnations. The purpose of Varaha avatar is to protect Earth from the demon.

Ellora CAVES, Maharashtra:

Ellora Caves is a UNESCO World Heritage site, located in Aurangabad district, Maharashtra. It is one of the largest Hindu cave temple, featuring Buddhist and Jain Monuments with artwork. Ellora has five Jain Caves belong to the 9th and 10th centuries. It was built by the Rashtrkuta king, Krishna I. It have been built during 600- 730 CE. It was destroyed by Mughal King Aurangzeb, 1000 of people worked for 3 years to destroy the temple but they failed, they could break and disfigure only few statues. Again, the caves were 1st discovered in 1819, by Jon Smith while hunting a tiger.

Ajanta CAVES, Maharashtra:

Ajanta Caves is located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The 1st Buddhist cave in Ajanta date from 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. Many more richly decorated caves were added to the original group during the Gupta Period (5th & 6th centuries AD). The sculptures and paintings of Ajanta, considered as the masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. It is mainly celebrated for its wall paintings. Ajanta caves construction started during the reign of Harisena, a King of Vataka dynasty. Ajanta consists of thirty caves, each dedicated to the life of the Buddha. It was destroyed by Aurangzeb in 1682. It is a part of UNESCO World Heritage site.

Elephanta caves, Maharashtra:

Elephanta caves is located in Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri in Mumbai Harbour, Maharashtra. It is a collection of cave temples and it is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It was built by King Krishnaraja of the Kalachuri Dynasty in the mid -6th century. In 16th century Portuguese ceded the Island and the caves and sculptures were damaged by Portuguese soldiers. Portuguese discovered gigantic Rock-cut sculpture of the Elephant, so they prompted it as Elephanta caves. It is a part of UNESCO World Heritage site.

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