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Arvalem Caves  

  Goa , Goa.
FREE

  • Monument and historical place
    Category
    Monument and historical place
  • duration
    Duration
    20 - 30 Minutes
  • mobile_voucher
    Mobile Voucher
    Accepted
  • parking
    Parking
    Available
  • drinking water
    Drinking water
    Available
  • snacks counter
    Snacks counter
    Available
  • photographer
    Photographer
    Available
  • baby friendly
    Couple
    Friendly
  • ExploreBees
    Baby
    Friendly
  • restroom
    Restroom
    Available
  • sitting area
    Sitting Area
    Available
  • souvenir shop
    Souvenir shop
    Available
  • prayer room
    Prayer room
    Available
  • dustbin
    Dustbin
    Available

Ticket

  • free entry
    free entry
  • adult ticket
    Adult
    FREE
  • children ticket
    Children
    FREE
  • mobile camera
    Mobile Camera
    FREE
  • still camera
    still camera
    FREE
  • video camera
    Video Camera
    FREE

Description

A perfect example of the rich cave history of Goa lies with the Arvalem Caves. These particular caves are situated in the small town of Bicholim which forms a part of North Goa. Goa possesses a very rich 'cave heritage'. Speak to any villager in villages like Harvalem and you get to hear the legend of the five Pandavas- Yuddhistir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev having resided in the five caves at Harvalem. The Rudreshwara temple at Harvalem displays aignage which speaks of the so-called Pandavanchyo leni or Pandavanchy Houryo. 

The etymological roots of the village name Harvalem stands asfollows: Hara is shiva and Valem has come from the Kannad word for village ‘halli' - thus Hara-hall became Harvalem, a village very close to the town of Sanquelim or Sankhalim which again has evolved from Shankar - halli which again is a reference to Shiva, Hara or Mahadev. The village of Harvalem in the Bicholim Taluka showcases a beautifully serene, calm and green environs very much desired by the antient Buddhist monk in their journey of the attainment of peace, truth, bliss through deep contemplation and meditation. Close by is a beautiful waterfall, the famous ‘Harvalecho dhabdhabo‘ and the famous Rudreshwar temple.

The Buddhist monks have carved these five caves out of a sigle hard laterite rock. Here again ,we find that these Buddhist caves have been converted to shaivite caves. Shivlings of different shapes and sizes have been placed in these caves. These shivlings are carved out of granite. On the ‘ling' (phallus) which is aniconically representing the sun (Surya) has one line inscription which reads ‘Sambalur Vasi Ravih'. This inscription is palaeographically dated C 600 A.D. However, says the late Dr. V R Mistragotri in his book Socio- Cultural History of Goa from Bhojas to Vijayanagar, the date of the above inscription may be one century later i.e C 700 A.D. In the inscription Sambalur is nothing but Shivapur which means Hara-halli or Harvalli i.e. Harvalem. It could also be a reference to the bigger of Sankhlim or Shankar-halli lying next to Harvalem. Shambhu means Shiva and ‘ur'or ‘pur' means a town or a city in Sanskrit.

The Shivling and the inscription is assigned to the Bhoja period, the period of the Bhoja King Kapalivarman. As mentioned in my last piece on Lamgao caves the Shivling in the first Lamgao cave is also a assigned to the Bhoja period. There is another ling with an inscription in the Harvalem caves. In the copper plate inscription of the Bhoja king Kapalivarman there is mentioned of the Harvalem village. There is also mentioned of ‘udakapata' which means a waterfall which is none other than Harvalem waterfall. The cells in the caves have pillars. The Shivlings are placed on raised platforms. These caves makes a interesting sight-seeing. On my journey through Goa's pre-Portuguese past, I have realised that Goa in spite of having a very reach pre Portuguese built and unbuilt heritage has been projected only as a Portuguese heritage destination. Our Buddhist and Jain heritage sites should also feature prominently on our tourist itinerary. Lamgao, Harvalem, Rivona, Kudnem, Bandoda which showcase our Buddhist and Jain heritage respectively should be promoted as Heritage Tourism sites.


Operational Hours

January to December
Monday 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Tuesday 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Wednesday 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM - 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Thursday 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Friday 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Saturday 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Sunday 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Last Admission Afternoon 12:45 PM Evening 04:45 PM

Things to carry

  • id card
    Id card
  • camera
    camera
  • selfi stick
    Selfi stick
  • water bottle
    Water bottle
  • sunglasses
    Sunglasses
  • cap
    Cap
  • medicine
    Medicine
  • sun cream
    Sunscreen
  • power bank
    Power Bank
  • swimming dress
    Swimming Dress
  • Food or Snacks
    Food or Snacks

Things Not Allowed

  • no alcohol
    alcohol
  • no weapons
    Weapons
  • no pets
    Pets
  • no skate board
    Skate board
  • no smoking
    Smoking
  • no wifi
    Wifi
  • no plastic bag
    Plastic Bag

Near By

  • atm
    ATM
    0.8 KM
  • fuel station
    Fuel Station
    1.8 KM
  • restaurant
    Restaurant
    0.3 KM
  • hospital
    Hospital
    0.7 KM
  • pharmacy
    Pharmacy
    0.5 KM
  • hotel
    Hotel
    4.2 KM
  • bus stop
    Bus Stop
    1.5 KM
  • train
    Train
    20.0 KM
  • taxi
    TAXI
    2.0 KM

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