The presence of five compartments and Shiv Lingas 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. This holds true to an extent as can be seen in the rock cut into laterite stone and the Viharas at the end.
Architecture of Arvalem Caves
The architecture of the caves is simple yet appealing. The walls are plain with no paintings on them. The rock structure has been cut into laterite stone. The mysterious 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.
Comprising of five compartments in the cave complex, the third of the middle compartment has a Shivalingam. The shafts of the four other caves are decorated with carved Shivalingams that are the replica of popular Elephanta Caves and Ellora Caves. Besides, the Shivalingam in the second cave with an inscription in Sanskrit and Brahmi characters of the 7th century possesses historical importance for archaeologists.
How to Reach
Arvalem caves are located 9 km south of Bicholim Town and one can hire motorcycle or taxis from Bicholim to reach the caves. Arvalem Caves is connected by road to all major nearby cities like Mangalore, Ratnagiri and Mumbai. The closest airport to Arvalem Caves is Dabolim Airport which is 28 km away. Arvalem Caves is easily reachable by using bus services from all nearby places in Goa, also from neighboring states. The closest junction to Arvalem Caves is Madgaoan railway station, which is about 6.9 Km.