There are a lot of caves in India that have been major tourist attractions since many years.
Some of the notable ones are:
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
Ajanta Caves: Located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, the Ajanta Caves were discovered in 1819 by a British Captain named John Smith. The caves were accidentally discovered while the captain was hunting. Ajanta Caves were built in the third century. Ajanta Caves are considered to be masterpiece in the field of architecture. The caves are cut from the volcanic lava of the Deccan. Ajanta Caves are fully carved with beautiful paintings not just on the walls but also on the ceiling. They depict the life of Buddha and some of the major events in his life.
Ellora Caves: Ellora Caves are considered to be the finest caves in terms of temple architecture in India. Elaborate carvings have been done in these caves that depict various elements of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism religion. Ellora caves were carved during the 350 AD to 700 AD period. The adornment inside the caves, not just on the walls but also on the ceilings leaves one spellbound. Ellora Caves are a tribute to Indian art and a salute to the artists who created them. There are a lot of 34 caves, out of which 12 depict imagery relating to Buddhism while 17 others are dedicated to Hinduism and 5 caves to Jainism.
Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
Located in Mumbai, Elephanta Caves are one of the most exquisite examples of rock-cut architecture. Elephanta Caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is spread over 6000 sq. feet. The caves consist of shrines, courtyards and the main chamber. One can reach Elephanta Caves by a boat ride from the Gateway of India. It was in 1819, that the British officers discovered a series of carved caves which were later named Elephanta Caves. There are about 30 caves and some of them are only partially carved. On the wall across from the entrance of the caves is the cave’s main piece; the three headed figure of Shiva as Maheshwara or Lord of the Universe. A visit to the Elephanta Caves is a must when one visits Mumbai.
Kanheri Caves, Maharashtra
Kanheri Caves are also located in Mumbai near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. These caves were built from 1st century BC to 9th century AD. Buddhist monks used these caves to stay and practice their austerities. Each cave has a stone plinth which is used was a bed by the monks. There is a Buddha Shrine in the center of a hall as well.
There are many other caves such as the Bhimbetka Caves that are located in Madhya Pradesh. These caves are famous for their paintings which represent three major periods of history – Upper, Paleolithic and the Medieval Period. The temperature inside the caves is very low as compared to the temperature outside the caves. One can also visit the Undavalli Caves which are located in Hyderabad.
The main attraction of these caves is the 5 meter long reclining statue of Lord Vishnu sculpted from a single rock of granite. Alternatively, cave lovers can also explore the Nellitheertha Caves located in the state of Karnataka. These caves are considered to be one of the holiest places of South India. Other caves include Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves, Mandapeshwar Caves, Pataleshwar Caves etc.