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Buddhist Caves In Gujarat

Citing Buddhism at Gujarat

Gujarat lures travelers with its rich treasure of cultural attributes, remnants of the past, diverse languages and colorful ambience. Land of temples, caves, topographical hotspots and architectural wonders, this western state of India also maintains footprints of Buddhism, which are now inviting travelers, pilgrims, researchers, scholars and students alike.

Often considered as a center of pilgrimage and worship for Hindus and Jains, Gujarat is also a preferred destination for Buddhist monks and scholars travelling from all across the globe. Some of the notable Buddhist caves located near the important towns and cities of this rich and prosperous state are:


Some of the best known examples of Buddhist caves found in Gujarat are located at Khapra-kodia caves near Junagadh. These caves date back to the 3rd and 4th centuries. Carved out of soft rock, these caves form a group of ten shelters and were used by monks in the rainy season. However, over a period of time they were abandoned because of excessive seepage. Along with the caves at Khapra-kodia, the other caves at Baba Pyara and Uporkot in Junagadh are also known for their historical and religious significance.

Junagadh district has been a prominent Buddhist center—right from the times of Ashoka’s reign. It is dotted with stupas, monasteries and exquisite rock cut caves. Some of the most prominent Buddhist places of interest in and around Junagdh are the Panheswer Caves, Ashokan rock edict at Girnar, Mai Gadechi,  Matri, structural monastery at Intawa, Vajrapanat, Sana Caves, brick stupa at Bordevi, Mandor Caves and the caves near Prabhas Patan and Savni-Gir. Most these caves are carved from monolithic rocks and are famous for their exotic art forms and symbolic inscriptions.

Khambhalida Caves

Khambhalida caves are situated in Gondal near Rajkot. The site boasts of identifiable carvings of Boddhistava and is one of the most import centers of worship for followers of Buddhism. Most caves and monasteries in this region were in the form of residential quarters, meant to provide housing facilities to the monks, students, scholars and other travelers visiting the monastery.


It was only in 2009 that The Gujarat State Archeological Department discovered remains of a Buddhist monastery and residential caves here. It is said that Hieun-Tsang, a Chinese Buddhist scholar and pilgrim had visited the site in 640 AD. He had chronicled that over 1000 monks and 10 monasteries were flourishing in the region. The site contains remains of several viharas, rock cut caves and other centers.

Over 2000 artifacts, including an idol of Buddha, amphora, a crucible and jewellery items were found at various places in this site. These objects of archeological significance have been displayed at Museum of Archaeology at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara.

Talaja Caves

Located approximately 32 km from Palitana, which is an important place of worship for the Jains, Talaja Caves are visited by domestic and international travelers alike. Ebhala Mandapa is the most impressive structure at this site and it’s a big hall dominated by four octagonal pillars. Talaja Caves are a collection of over 30 caves in the center of a hillock and were primarily used by monks as place of shelter during the rains.

Devni Mori (Sabarkantha)

Dating over 1600 years back, Devnimori is known to be an important monistic center for followers of Buddhism. Located on the frills of River Meshwo near Shamlaji, this mammoth site boasts of several viharas, stupas, small caves and chaityas. Tourists travel from near and wide to have a look at its relics cast in stone. It is believed that these remnants of Buddhism bear original inscriptions carved by Lord Gautama Buddha.

Sana Caves

Sana Caves offer remnants of a Buddhist establishment and are located near Rajula in the Amreli District. These caves are believed to be the most ancient of all Buddhist caves situated across western India. This interesting group of caves dates back to the 2nd century B.C. and is known for its ornately carved pillars, benches, stupas, chaityas and viharas.

Siyot Caves

The Siytot caves are situated in Lakhpat Taluka of Kutch and are one of the most prominent Buddhist caves in Gujarat. These caves find a place of pride in the writings of Huien Tsang, who mentioned them among caves found at the mouth of River Indus. Local folklores believe that these caves were erected at the site of a Shiva temple and were later occupied by followers of Buddhism.

Kadia Dunger Caves

A monolithic iron pillar and seven caves dot the Buddhist presence in Kadia Dungar, which is located in the Bharuch District. These caves are situated at a high elevation and have engravings of monkeys, elephants and other inscriptions in the Brahmi Language.

Buddhist Caves At Jami Massjid

Amongst all the Buddhist caves located at Uperkot, the most popular are the ones to the North West of Jami Masjid. This group of caves is constructed in three tiers. Two storeys have regular floors while the upper tier is marked by the presence of a large tank. This tank is covered on three side by balconies and Kakshasana on the north-west and western sides. The ground floor presents several exquisitely carved pillars with prominent ground bases, shafts and crown in place.


The most ancient archeological evidences of Buddhism in Gujarat goes back to the reign of Emperor Asoka (269–232 BC). The ornate excavations and carvings on pillars, stupas, viharas and an exhaustive range of rock cut caves is evidence of the presence of Buddhism in Gujarat.

Gujarat has been mentioned in several Buddhist books and literature like the Milinda Panha, Indriya Jataka, Petavatthu and so forth. During his visit to India in 64O AD, renowned Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang had noticed the presence of over 200 monasteries which provided shelter to more than 2000 monks.

How to Reach

By Road

Most Buddhist caves are well connected by road. Gujarat State Tourism buses ply from Ahmadabad, Rajkot, Vadodra, Junagdh, Somnath and other towns and cities and link the sites of these caves to the main highway.

By Rail

Most Buddhist caves in Gujarat are linked to main rail lines which go via cities like Ahmadabad, Rajkot, Junagadh, Vadodra, Vijapur and Mehsana.

By Air

The nearest airport to Somnath and Junagadh is at Keshod.

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Buddhist Caves In Gujarat
Buddhist Caves In Gujarat
Buddhist Caves In Gujarat
Buddhist Caves In Gujarat
Buddhist Caves In Gujarat
Buddhist Caves In Gujarat

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