Arvalem Caves

Dating back to the 5th to 6th Century, these caves are locally known as the Pandava Caves. Legend holds that the Pandavas, from the Hindu epic The Mahabharata, took refuge in these caves while they were in exile. There's much debate over whether the caves are Buddhist or Brahmanical in origin, considering lingas that exist in four different shrines. The shafts of the four crafted lingas are very similar to those that can be found in Elephanta and Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra. Some of the characters engraved on the second linga belong to the Sanskrit and Brahmi script, that was prevalent in the 7th Century. Excavated from a laterite hill, the complex consist of two major caves and a residential chamber.