(Arvalem) Harvalem Caves or The Pandava Caves, Sanquelim

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Arvalem Caves is located in Sanquelim just 4km away from Sanquelim bus stand and 9km from Bicholim town. These are ancient rock cut caves that give us a chance to steep into mythological tales. These are excavated into the laterite hill and consist of two major chambers. The cave complex draws tourists and archeologists alike. The origin of these caves dates back to the 5th – 6th century. Arvalem Caves are also known as “Pandava Caves”.

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These caves have got their name from the five Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas sought refuge in these caves during their exile. The presence of five compartments and Shiv linga’s in the cave complex provides relevance of this fact. However, the caves have also been claimed to be of Buddhist origin due to presence of a huge statue of Buddha near the place. The architectural style of the caves also speaks loud of the Buddhist possession. The opinions regarding the origin of the caves have been ambivalent from years.

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The architecture of these caves is simple and yet appealing. The walls are plain with no paintings on them. The rock structure has been cut into laterite stone. Look of the caves has been attracting the tourists over long years. The presence of the famous Rudreshwar temple and a waterfall in its vicinity, makes this place a must visit in Goa.

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To reach this place one can reach at Sanquelim and then you can take right turn at Sanquelim Housing board over there you will even get sign board saying direction to Waterfall, the same road goes to Harvalem Caves and later it ends at Rudreshwar Temple.

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