How I witnessed ruins of Buddhism in Rajasthan – Kolvi Buddhist caves

How I witnessed ruins of Buddhism in Rajasthan – Kolvi Buddhist caves

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It is rightly said – Rajasthan is the true box of wonders and every inch of land here tells a different tale, now while everybody is always mesmerized with the amazing royal history, forts and palaces, battles and bravery, kings and queens, I found something completely unexpected here in my Rajasthan, the evidence of Buddhist monks; yes, that too in an area which to this date is not at all populated and finding something so extra ordinary on that part of the state was a bliss for me.

I was on my 5 days trip to finding something new and came across this location called Kolvi village or Kolva village which houses a group of caves built by Buddhist monks way back in time, these are the only rock cut caves of Rajasthan and made out of laterite rock, surveys suggest these caves were built around the 5th and 6th century and its surprising to know that those Buddhist monks had such technology at that time to cut those huge rocks into caves, statues and stupas, this compound is currently named as Kolvi caves.

Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves

It is not clear why the monks settled in Kolvi village since the location is very unusual as compared to where the Buddhist monks and the culture is generally found, we all know Buddhism is found in The Himalayan region mainly and some Asian countries, however finding the footprints of that culture on the land far far away from those regions is a mystery itself, even though historians have distributed views on these settlements, it is widely believed that these monks came here looking for peace and to escape from the terror of Hunas tribe or Huns tribe(group of Central Asian tribes who entered the Indian Subcontinent at the end of the 5th or early 6th century).

Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves

All these caves are built on a hill top and the compound includes stupas, Buddha statues and different caves with small rooms built inside as it is believed, the Buddhist monks used these caves mainly for meditation.

Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves

There are 2 more locations near Kolvi caves, Binayaga Buddhist caves and Hatyagaud Buddhist caves with similar but less number of Buddhist caves which proves that the Buddhist people were well settled in this area of Rajasthan.

Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves

These caves fall under the ASI (Archaeological survey of India), however you can easily see the effect of Mother Nature on this compound and since the campus is not well maintained by anyone specifically and does require attention from authorities to preserve this integral part of Indian history or this remain of a significant past will be only left in pictures, books and memories for future generations.

Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves

How to reach Kolvi caves:

Kolvi or Kolva village falls under Jhalawar district of Rajasthan, However it is almost 100KMs from the main city and the area though it is well connected with a road, you will not find a lot of restaurants or facilities on your way, hence it is advisable to carry enough food and water supplies if you wish to explore the untouched.

Kolvi Buddhist caves
Kolvi Buddhist caves

Also being situated very close to the Rajasthan- Madhya Pradesh state border, Kolvi village is also very close to some major cities of Madhya Pradesh.

Distance by road:

Distance from jhalawar: 100Kms

Distance from Jaipur: 390Kms

Distance from Delhi: 670Kms

Nearest Airports from Kolvi:

Jaipur International Airport (Jaipur) – 390Kms

Maharana pratap Airport (Udaipur Raj.) – 260Kms

Devi Ahillyabai holkar Airport (Indore M.P.) – 175Kms

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