Lamgao Caves, the Buddhist heritage in Goa
Located in Bicholim, district of North Goa, the Lamgao caves is the best option if you are willing to go on a heritage tour. It is a cave cut out of rocks and is situated in the village of Lamgao. The cave nearest to Lamgao is smaller in size but its design is creative. You cannot view the gateway to the cave from a long distance as areca palms have covered it in front. There is a stream beside, that increases its beauty. You can notice the stone shiv linga with his carrier Nandi in this small cave. There is another cave that is bigger than this one and is used as a shelter in the rainy season. This cave has a complicated route going underground.
The village of Lamgao stands at a distance of 33 km from Panjim. There are two ways through which you can reach the cave. If you want to reach there like an adventurous tourist, then follow the trekking route that would take you to the cave through the hill base. And for those who want a peaceful journey nice roads are there going towards the Pandava caves. You can drive yourself in a private car through the road that runs from Bichollim to Mapusa. Alternatively, you can also reach there from Pigao village on a jetty.
History of Lamgao caves
The word Lamgao basically means the village of Buddhist monks. It has a historical background of the inhabitation of Buddhists who came there to live the life of a monk inside the rock-cut caves. Previously, Lamgao was known as Lamhagram and the place was being used for mining thereby forming caves. The design on the caves indicated the presence of Buddhist people once upon a time. There were lots of springs and the people of Bacholim and nearby areas were served water from these sources. Moreover, the springs were used by the Buddhist residents for drinking purposes which is now used by local people for washing utensils and clothes. The natural beauty was far more enchanting and adventurous before than of now. Now you can get a glimpse of the beauty of the architectural design of the caves. The mining activities on the Lamgao area have greatly affected the natural beauty of the region.
Apart from all such degradations, the place is still the favorite destination of tourists from all over the country. The place is being upgraded by the state government to make it an attractive tourist spot. People visit Goa not only from India but also from the whole world. The place possesses a Buddhist touch due to which people from Japan also like to visit the place. The smaller cave possesses intricate architecture which is the main attraction rather than the bigger cave. Reaching there through the trekking route is quite adventurous and excited people love to go from here.
Description of the caves
The caves are crafted out of red lateritic soil making it not so strong and that is why the caves have been left incomplete. Although the caves have a Buddhist background, presently it possesses shiv lingam which is crafted out of stone. Every day the lingam is worshipped by local people. The caves are surrounded by deep natural vegetation with springs flowing from within. Altogether the place seems so natural and enchanting that you would definitely get lost in its magical beauty. You would never feel bored spending a long time in this place. Away from the rudeness of city life, the place offers a rejuvenating environment that would leave you peaceful in mind and body after you visit the place. The roots of the trees are seen hanging announcing their old age.
The Lamgao caves in Goa are something new to explore. Goa is not only a place of sea beaches but also day by day the ancient hidden places are being discovered making Goa more attractive and altogether a complete state full of tourists interests and attractions. So next time you visit Goa, make sure to visit these caves which is easy to go, to and also something different from all other places. Filled with ancient essence and flourishing with magnetic beauty you would like this place, it is assured.
Things to do
If you’re planning a visit to the Lamgao Caves in Goa, here are a few things you can do to make the most of your experience:
- Explore the Caves: Take your time to explore the different caves and marvel at the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the walls and ceilings.
- Learn About Buddhism: The Lamgao Caves are an important site for Buddhist heritage, and you can learn more about the religion and its history by visiting the caves.
- Take a Guided Tour: Consider taking a guided tour of the caves to learn more about their history and significance. A knowledgeable guide can provide additional insights and perspectives that you might not otherwise discover on your own.
- Visit Other Buddhist Sites: The Lamgao Caves are just one of many important Buddhist sites in Goa. If you’re interested in learning more about Buddhism, you may want to consider visiting other nearby sites such as the Buddhist rock-cut temples at Usgalimal or the Nanomorphs of Shri Mangueshi.
- Enjoy the Surrounding Scenery: The Lamgao Caves are located in a scenic area surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. Take some time to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, and bring a picnic to enjoy in the serene surroundings.
Sure, here are some common questions and answers about the Lamgao Caves in Goa, India:
Q: When were the Lamgao Caves built?
A: The Lamgao Caves were built sometime between the 1st century BCE and the 5th century CE.
Q: What is the significance of the Lamgao Caves?
A: The Lamgao Caves are an important example of early Buddhist rock-cut architecture in India and are considered to be some of the oldest Buddhist rock-cut caves in the region.
Q: What can you see inside the Lamgao Caves?
A: The Lamgao Caves feature chaitya halls and viharas, which were used as monasteries by Buddhist monks. The caves are adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures that offer a unique glimpse into the religious and cultural heritage of ancient India.
Q: How do I get to the Lamgao Caves?
A: The Lamgao Caves are located in Goa, India. They can be reached by car or public transportation from nearby cities and towns.
Q: Are the Lamgao Caves open to the public?
A: Yes, the Lamgao Caves are open to the public and are a popular tourist destination.
Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit the Lamgao Caves?
A: Yes, there is usually an entrance fee to visit the Lamgao Caves. The exact fee may vary, so it’s a good idea to check in advance.