At a distance of 41 km from Junagadh and 66 km from Rajkot, Khambhalida Caves are the ancient rock cut Buddhist caves situated at Khambhalida village in Rajkot district of Gujarat. Also known as Rajkot Caves, it is one of the popular places to visit in Rajkot.
Dating back to 4th or 5th century AD, the Khambhalida Caves are a group of three Buddhist caves situated at the foot of a small hill on the banks of a spring. These Caves were discovered in 1958 by P. P. Pandya, a prominent archeologist. It is said that they were carved in the limestone rocks by Saint of Dinyan Branch of the Buddha tradition. It is also said that many Buddha Saints from Junagadh came to these caves for meditation and there is an inscription on a stone here that states Asoka might have come to this place for his meditation.
Among the three caves, the central one contains the stupa which is known as chaitya cave. The entrance of the chaitya is flanked by two large sculptures of the Bodhisattvas. On the right is the figure of Padmapani under Asoka-like tree with a female companion and five attendants. There is a yaksha-like dwarf on the left of it holding a basket. The figure on the left side of the entrance is probably Vajrapani and this sculpture is considered as one of the most ancient ones in India. The second such sculpture of Vajrapani came into existence 400-500 years thereafter at Cave No.2 of the world famous Ellora Caves of Maharashtra. The second sculpture of Padmapani, contemporary to the sculpture of Khambhalida, exists at Patan in Nepal.
Another cave on the left is deep and huge and is open in the front. It may have used for meditation by the monks. These caves have intricate designs and sculptures. Also, there are 15 more caves surrounding the main caves. Most caves and monasteries in this region were in the form of residential quarters.
Timings: 8 AM - 6 PM