India is famous in the world for its rich cultural heritage. This rich history is remarkably depicted through top ancient monuments and wonderful temples. If we discuss about the ancient architectures of India, Rock-Cut Temples are the most prehistoric and amazing example of the same. These majestic rock-cut temples are one of the must visit attractions for the travelers from India or out of India. In this article, read about the popular rock-cut temples of India for a lifetime experience.
Masroor Cave Temples, Himachal Pradesh
Also known as Himalayan Pyramid, Masroor Rock Cut Temple is a complex of 15 monolithic rock-cut monuments. Each of them is carved in a traditional Indo Aryan style that is very exclusive for the northern part of India. There is a lake near this temple complex that is known as Masroor Lake and reflection of the temple can be seen in this lake.
Amarnath Temple, Kashmir
One can’t miss to talk about Amarnath Temple of Kashmir while discussing about rock cut or cave temples in India. The cave is positioned at an elevation of 3,888 meters in Kashmir. It is considered to be one of the most sacred shrines of Hinduism, which is encircled by snowcapped mountains. A huge number of pilgrims come to the Amarnath cave by climbing the challenging mountainous terrains to get the glimpse of automatically created ice stalagmite in the cave. This ice formation is considered to be the holy Shivlingam by Hindus.
Varaha Cave Temples, Tamil Nadu
Situated in Mamallapuram of Tamil Nadu, Varaha Cave Temples is a gorgeous example of Pallava architecture that dates back to 7th century. The temple is one of the finest testaments to the ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis. The most eminent statue in the cave temple is of Lord Vishnu, which incarnated in the form of a Varaha or boar elevating earth from the sea. Many other mythological figures are also carved in this temple.
Badami Cave Temples, Karnataka
Badami Cave Temples are the complex of four majestic temples in the northern part of Karnataka. This temple structure dates back from 6th century and is undoubtedly an epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture, mainly Badami Chalukya architecture. The Badami cave temples stand for several previously recognized examples of Hindu temples. It is situated on the west bank of an artificial lake.
Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
Located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, Ellora Caves is one of the rock-cut architectural marvels of India. This archaeological site was constructed by Rashtrakuta dynasty and comprised of 34 caves. The most exclusive aspect of these cave temples is that they signify an ideal combination of Hindu, Jain, Buddhist rock-cut temples.
Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
Ajanta Caves are among the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a Buddhist temple complex that comprised of 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments. These caves feature amazing paintings and finest sculptures, which are supposed to be the best existing examples of Indian art. This incredible temple complex is being visited by a huge number of tourists every year.
Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
Elephanta Caves are the network of beautifully carved caves located on Elephanta Island of Maharashtra. These are mainly two groups of caves, including five Hindu caves and two Buddhist caves. In Hindu caves, one can see wonderful rock cut stone sculptures of Lord Shiva.
Udayagiri Caves, Madhya Pradesh
Located in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, Udayagiri Caves consists of some of the most ancient Hindu Cave Temples. The site is noteworthy for the sculpture of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation of Varaha. The cave complex is comprised of 20 caves, including 1 of Jainism and 19 of Hinduism.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Orissa
A blend of natural and artificial caves, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Orissa are known for their archaeological, historical and religious significance. The caves are located on two nearby hills called Udayagiri and Khandagir. Udayagiri has 18 caves and Khandagiri has 15 caves. Various religious inscriptions are done on these caves.
The Pancha Rathas, Mahabalipuram
This Pancha Rathas Monumental Complex is home to several temples, rathas and other historic monuments that have led it to be listed into UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This complex has the most amazing rock-cut temple called the Pancha Rathas. The Pancha Rathas features five monolith rock-cut temples, which are carved from a single stone. Each of these Ratha is named after the Pandavas and Draupadi, including Draupadi Ratha, Arjuna Ratha, Bhima Ratha, Nakula Sahadeva Ratha and Dharmaraja Ratha.
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