Rajkot is famous for various things from Indian Independence movements to prehistoric era of caves. One such famous sight for tourist to visit is the Khambhalida Caves. It is a Buddhist Cave and has religious values attached to it. Let us have an insight of what these caves are, their history and architecture, their importance in the history and as well as in the present day.
History of the Caves
It is said that they were carved in the limestone rocks by Saint of Dinyan Branch of the Buddha tradition. A well-known Indian archaeologist names Shri P. P. Pandya discovered these Buddhist Caves in 1958.
From his findings, it is acknowledged that the caves came into existence in the 4th or 5th century AD.
Khambhalida Caves are located in Rajkot district of the Indian state of Gujarat near Gondal. The group has three caves containing ‘Chaitya’ and ‘Stupa’. The ‘Chaitya’ gate includes figures of Bodhisattva Padmapani and Vajrapani on right and left respectively. These caves are maintained by the Archaeology Department of Gujarat and are well taken care of.
Architecture of Khambhalida Caves
The caves have a majestic structure carved out of limestone. There are three caves here, where the centre one is named as ‘Chaitya Grih’. It has a ‘Stupa’ and two sculptures with detailed designs. The cave on the right is named Bodhisattvas-Padmapani and the one on the left is named Vajra Pani.
The ‘Vajjra Pani’ sculpture is known to be one of the most ancient in India; second such idol came up in Ellora Caves. Another contemporary other than this is the ‘Padmapani’ idol which is in Patan, Nepal. There are 15 small caves situated near the Khambhalida Caves. The cave on the left-hand side is gigantic and is open in the front and goes deep inside.
During the daytime, tourists can see a lot of light and air as it is well-aerated and has a lot of space for light to enter. It is said that Buddhist monks must have meditated in the ancient times inside these caves, leaving behind spiritual vibrations that can be felt even till today.
Importance of Khambhalida Caves
Khambhalida Caves are said to be the oldest such caves in Rajkot and it’s considered as one of the architectural wonders of the country. The caves rest amidst vicinity. They are situated at the foot of small hills on the banks of a spring.
It is also said that many Buddha Saints from Junagadh came to these caves for meditation. There is an inscription on a stone here that states Ashoka existed and might have come to this place for his meditation.
How to Reach
The Khambhalida Caves can be easily approached. One can take a taxi soon as they reach the city of Rajkot and directly reach the caves. Further, there is no entry fee to the caves, so you can easily reach your destination. Also, there are 15 more caves surrounding the main caves, which are a good watch.
Rajkot and its places to visit are quite awesome for the tourist and are loved by people across the globe.