Khapra Kodiya Caves are a group of rock-cut caves that are part of the Junagadh Buddhist Cave Group. They are the oldest of the caves in the group and date back to 3rd-4th century BCE during the Emperor Ashoka’s rule. The caves are considered the earliest monastic settlement in the area and reflect the influence of Buddhism on Gujarat. The caves are located in Uparkot Fort, a historical fort that was built by Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire. The caves are simple and plain, but have a unique water management system and a spiral staircase. Visit during One Day Junagadh sightseeing Trip By Private Cab
Location of Khapra Kodiya Caves
Khapra Kodiya Caves are situated in Uparkot Fort, a historical fort that was built in 319 BCE by Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire. The fort is located on a plateau in the eastern part of Junagadh city, at the foot of the Girnar hills. The fort covers an area of about 70 acres and is surrounded by a moat and high walls. The fort is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the city center of Junagadh, which is the headquarters of Junagadh district in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Timing / Entry Fees Khapra Kodiya Caves
The fort and the caves are open to the public every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The entry fee for Indian visitors is Rs. 10 per person, and for foreign visitors is Rs. 50 per person. There is no camera fee for still or video cameras. The visitors can also hire a guide for Rs. 100 to learn more about the history and architecture of the fort and the caves.
How to Reach Khapra Kodiya Caves
The nearest airport to Junagadh is Rajkot Airport, which is about 103 kilometers (64 miles) away. There are regular flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and other major cities to Rajkot. From Rajkot, one can take a taxi or a bus to Junagadh, which takes about 2 to 3 hours.
The nearest railway station to Junagadh is Junagadh Junction, which is well connected to Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Veraval, Somnath, and other cities by trains. From the railway station, one can take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi to Uparkot Fort, which takes about 10 minutes.
Junagadh is also accessible by road from Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Veraval, Somnath, and other cities by buses or cars. The distance from Ahmedabad to Junagadh is about 355 kilometers (221 miles), from Rajkot to Junagadh is about 100 kilometers (62 miles), and from Veraval to Junagadh is about 80 kilometers (50 miles).
Things to Do / Must See Khapra Kodiya Caves
Khapra Kodiya Caves are a fascinating attraction that showcases the ancient Buddhist heritage of Junagadh. Some of the things to do and see at the caves are:
- Explore the Caves: The caves are carved out of soft rock and have a rectangular plan. The caves have two wings: an east-west wing and an L-shaped wing. The east-west wing has three chambers: one large chamber with two smaller chambers on either side. The L-shaped wing has four chambers: one large chamber with three smaller chambers along its arms. The chambers have niches for beds and benches for monks.
- Learn about the Water Management System: The caves have a unique water management system that consists of channels, cisterns, tanks, and wells. The water was collected from rainwater or from nearby Sudarshana Lake (which no longer exists) and stored in cisterns and tanks. The water was then distributed through channels to wells and chambers. The water was also used for bathing and washing.
- Enjoy the Spiral Staircase: The caves have a spiral staircase that leads to the well shaft at the end of the L-shaped wing. The staircase has 54 steps that wind around the well shaft, which has square holes for ventilation and illumination. The well shaft has a circular shape and is partly cut out of soft rock and partly built up with stone.
Nearby Tourist Places of Khapra Kodiya Caves
Uparkot Fort has many other tourist places to explore besides Khapra Kodiya Caves. Some of the nearby tourist places are:
- Adi Kadi Vav: This is another stepwell that was built in the 15th century and named after two slave girls, Adi and Kadi, who used to fetch water from it or were sacrificed for it, according to different legends. The stepwell is 41 meters (135 feet) deep and has a circular shape.
- Navghan Kuvo: This is another stepwell that was built in the 11th century and named after the Chudasama king Ra Navaghana, who escaped from a siege by hiding in it. The stepwell is 52 meters (171 feet) deep and has a zigzag staircase that winds around the well shaft.
- Ashoka’s Rock Edicts: This is a large boulder with fourteen edicts of Emperor Ashoka engraved on it in Brahmi script and Pali language. The edicts date back to 250 BCE and convey Ashoka’s message of peace, tolerance, compassion, and dharma (righteousness). This is one of the oldest inscriptions in India and a testimony to Ashoka’s influence on Gujarat.
- Rudradaman’s Sanskrit Inscription: This is another inscription on the same boulder as Ashoka’s edicts, but in Sanskrit language and Kharoshthi script. The inscription was added by Rudradaman I, a Saka (Scythian) king who ruled over Malwa and Gujarat in the 2nd century CE. The inscription records his victory over the Satavahanas and his restoration of a dam on the Sudarshana Lake near Girnar.
- Buddhist Caves: These are a group of rock-cut caves that date from before 500 CE and are among the earliest examples of Buddhist architecture in India. The caves have stone carvings and floral motifs that depict scenes from the life of Buddha and his teachings. The caves also have chaityas (prayer halls) and viharas (monasteries) where monks used to live and meditate.
- Babupyana Caves: These are another group of rock-cut caves that date from the 1st century CE and are attributed to Bava Pyara, a Jain monk who attained nirvana here. The caves have sculptures and paintings that depict Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers) and their stories. The caves also have a water tank that is said to have healing properties.
- Jama Masjid: This is a mosque that was built in the 15th century by Sultan Mahmud Begada, who conquered Junagadh in 1470. The mosque has a large courtyard and a prayer hall with 140 pillars and nine domes. The mosque also has a minaret that offers a view of the city and the hills.
- Darbar Hall Museum: This is a museum that was established in 1977 and is located in the former durbar hall (royal court) of the Nawabs of Junagadh. The museum displays the royal memorabilia, weapons, paintings, manuscripts, and other artifacts that belong to the Nawabs and their families. The museum also has a collection of silver chains, thrones, palanquins, and howdahs (elephant seats).
Significance of Khapra Kodiya Caves
Khapra Kodiya Caves are a significant place for history, culture, and tourism in Gujarat. The caves showcase the legacy of Emperor Ashoka, who ruled over this region in the 3rd-4th century BCE and spread Buddhism across India. The caves also preserve an ancient monastic settlement that reflects the influence of Buddhism on Gujarat. The caves also offer a glimpse into the life and times of the monks who lived here.
Q: What are the timings and entry fees of Uparkot Fort and Khapra Kodiya Caves?
A: The fort and the caves are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day. The entry fee for Indian visitors is Rs. 10 per person, and for foreign visitors is Rs. 50 per person.
Q: How can I reach Uparkot Fort and Khapra Kodiya Caves from Junagadh city?
A: You can reach Uparkot Fort and Khapra Kodiya Caves from Junagadh city by auto-rickshaw or taxi, which takes about 10 minutes.
Q: What are the other attractions near Uparkot Fort and Khapra Kodiya Caves?
A: There are many other attractions near Uparkot Fort and Khapra Kodiya Caves, such as Adi Kadi Vav, Navghan Kuvo, Ashoka’s Rock Edicts, Rudradaman’s Sanskrit Inscription, Buddhist Caves, Babupyana Caves, Jama Masjid, and Darbar Hall Museum.
Q: How old are Khapra Kodiya Caves?
A: Khapra Kodiya Caves are dated to 3rd-4th century BCE during the Emperor Ashoka’s rule.
Q: Why are Khapra Kodiya Caves called Buddhist Caves?
A: Khapra Kodiya Caves are called Buddhist Caves because they were used by Buddhist monks as their
Khapra Kodiya Caves are a fascinating attraction that showcases the ancient Buddhist heritage of Junagadh. The caves are the oldest of the Junagadh Buddhist Cave Group and date back to 3rd-4th century BCE during the Emperor Ashoka’s rule. The caves are simple and plain, but have a unique water management system and a spiral staircase. The caves are located in Uparkot Fort, a historical fort that was built by Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire.
The caves are a testimony to the influence of Buddhism on Gujarat and the art, architecture, and engineering skills of the people of Gujarat. If you are planning to visit Junagadh, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Khapra Kodiya Caves and experience their history and architecture. Book your ticket now and enjoy a memorable trip to Khapra Kodiya Caves. 🙌