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Pandav Caves, Madhya Pradesh

Pandav Caves, Madhya Pradesh
Pandav Caves, Madhya Pradesh (Credit.155448648)
Situated on a small hill, Pandava Caves in Panchmarhi are believed to have been a shelter point of the Pandavas during their period of exile. These caves are a group of 24-30 Hinayana Buddhist Caves which are 1200 years old and were built by various Buddhist kings as homes for the saints. Most of the caves are Viharas except for the 18th cave known as Chaitya. The location of the caves is a holy Buddhist site. It is an important tourist landmark in Panchmarhi.

Pachmarhi is named after these caves. The words Panch+marhi means Five Caves. There is a nice garden in front of the caves. According to the popular belief and local legends, the pandava's of Mahabharata along with Draupadi 'their wife' spent a part of their exile here. In addition to the Pandavas, even the Buddhists monks are believed to have taken shelter here in the first century B.C.

The caves were engraved out in the 1st and 2nd century as abodes for the idols of the Jain kings. The caves lodge idols of Buddha and Bodhisatva and the icons of Jain Teerthankara Vrishabhdeo, Veer Manibhadraji and Ambikadevi. The Pandava Caves are now protected monuments.