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Baba Pyara Junagadh

Buddhist Caves of the 1st century AD

Gujarat is one of the most vibrant and colorful states of India. The state also spans diverse geographical formations such as mountains, seas and a desert. Therefore, Gujarat allows visitors to explore and enjoy diverse geographical formations, a thriving historical past and reminiscences of various religious cultures, architectural wonders and nobility.

Through ancient times, this rich and prosperous western state of the Indian sub continent has attracted domestic and international tourists alike. They come here to witness its colorful opulence, masterpieces of civilized architecture and an exhaustive range of topographical features, which include volcanic lava in bedrocks and Neolithic caves.

Gujarat is also famous for its Buddhist Caves and some of the most famous of these are located Uparkot. One of the oft-visited Buddhist caves here is Baba Pyara. These caves attract tourists from across the world and it’s a reminder of the growth and popularity of Buddhist cult as it existed in earlier times.

In terms of architecture, the sprawling caves of Baba Pyara are not really caves. They represent sites carved out to provide residential facilities for the monks to live in. Carved in stone, these rooms were comfortable quarters for the practitioners of Buddhism. They date back to over 2000 years in history and have been a focal point of attraction for pilgrims, tourists, students, historians and those looking for more information and resources for their research material.

The oldest of these caves are located at Khapara Kodia – just across Baba Pyara caves. Khapara Kodia caves belong to the 3rd-4th century AD. Caves at Baba Pyara and Khapara Kodia were built as chambers separated into a west-east longitudinal crest. These were used as shelters during the rains. Carved during the rule of Ashoka the Great, these structures have been labeled as the oldest and most famous monastic settlements in Junagadh and its adjoining areas.

The caves at Baba Pyara were carved out of living rock and were put to use for many years. However, over time they were abandoned as cracks in their walls led to unwarranted seepage of water, making them unusable. According to legendary folklores, the monks who abandoned these caves went on to carve more elaborate and similar structures in Maharashtra. The remains of Baba Pyara stand stoic in time and lure tourists with their stories and tales of the past.

The Buddhist caves of Baba Pyara lie extremely close to Modimath. This location boasts of four caves in its northern precincts and has another set of caves in its southern parts. The site is well planned and has a unified layout of a Chaitya Hall and a spacious courtyard. Baba Pyara has 13 rooms, which are located at three different levels. These caves have been cut into a rock which is approximately 150 ft high. Carvings connected with Buddhist symbols adorn the walls at Baba Pyara and are a source of delight for all those wishing to have a peep into the teachings and works of Gautam Buddha.

These caves are better maintained and more intact than their counterparts in Khapara Kodia. The most recently constructed caves date back to almost 1900 years and are situated near Adi-KadiVav. The Khapra and Baba Pyara cave complexes are renowned for intricate carvings on six pillars that adorn these sites. However, it is debatable whether these carvings date back to the 2nd century or were engraved later.


Baba Pyara caves were constructed in 1st to 2nd century AD. The influence of art forms of Satavahana period is visible on door jambs, structured pillars, courts and sanctums here. These caves have seen several transformations in cultural attributes and lifestyle—from the era of monastic Buddhism to British Colonization and the splendor of nawabs.

These Buddhist caves are dominated by the walled fortress of Uparkot, which is built on rocky hills and has the entire city sprawling inside it. Baba Pyara stands on the side of a moat which runs around the citadel. This moat was used to protect the fort from enemies.

The main caves of Uparkot are complemented by a host of Buddhist caves which have been hewn into the soft rocks present behind the fort. These caves and the fort have seen over 16 sieges and were an important center of trade, commerce, religion and culture in the Mauryan period. They have seen the invasions of Chudasama Rajputs in 9th century, before falling into the hands of Sultan Muhammad Bhegada.

How to Reach

By Air

Junagadh does not have an airport to call its own. Tourists interested in reaching Junagadh by air have to avail of the services of Keshod Airport, which is located at a distance of 40 km from the heart of the city. The other airports are located at Rajkot and Porbandar, located at a distance of 99 km and 113 km respectively.

By Rail

Tourists traveling to Junagadh by train prefer to board the day express train which runs on the Ahmedabad-Veraval line. Train links from Ahmadabad—which is 7.5 hours away, are also recommended.

By Road

Junagadh lies at a distance of 327 km from Ahmadabad and approximately 113 km from Porbandar. The most comfortable way to reach these caves is by an ST bus which plies between Ahmadabad/Porbandar and Junagadh.

Nearest Town: Junagadh

Nearest Village: Uparkot

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Baba Pyara Junagadh
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Baba Pyara Junagadh
Baba Pyara Junagadh

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