Patterned in the Buddhist cave style Arvalem caves rock cut into laterite stone, with the sanctuary at the northern end and the vihara at the southern end the claim of the Arvalem caves being of Buddhist origin is a justified statement. A huge Buddha statue was excavated near the Arvalem caves and a 4th century Buddha head was also found nearby.
Located in Bicholim town in North Goa, Arvalem Caves are ancient rock cut caves which dates back to the 6th century. Popularly known as the Pandava Caves, the architecture of Arvalem Caves is simple yet appealing. The rock structure has been cut into laterite stone. The walls are plain with no paintings on them. There are five compartments Shivlingas and a huge statue of Buddha in the Arvalem cave complex.
Route to Arvalem Caves
As you leave Sanquelim, there is a detour road leading towards Arvalem Caves. Arvalem caves about 10 kms from Bicholim town is 30 kms from Mapusa and 35 kms from Panaji.
Temples in Sanquelim
Sanquelim is famous for its temples. It has four major and many small temples. The four famous temples are Shri Radha Krishna, Shri Datt Maharaj, Shri Pandurang and Shri Rudreshwar.
Located close to the temple of Rudreshwar, Arvalem waterfalls popularly known as the Harvalem Waterfalls, is a beautiful waterfalls located close to the Arvalem caves. The waterfalls is under two kilometers from the Arvalem caves. The Arvalem waterfall is at its glorious best right after the monsoons, and the water falls into a lake at the bottom. The Government has developed a park near the Arvalem falls.
Shree Rudreshwar Temple
The temple of Rudreshwar where the ancient linga of Rudreshwar is venerated is half a km away from the Arvalem caves. Shree Rudreshwar Temple is newly built on the site of an ancient site and the image of Rudreshwar is facing the waterfalls.