These small cave are the landmarking touch of Buddhist influence in the coastal state
The state of Goa has a lot to offer than just the scenic beaches and thrilling party scenes. If you have the zeal to look beyond, you will find a wonderland of culture, history and architecture to be amazed at. One such lesser-known place in the sunshine state is the Rivona Caves, which etch the traces of Buddhist divinity here. Located in the small village of Rivona, just 5 km northeast of Ponda, these caves are hidden from the main road, by the drapes of thick green covers.
Embark upon a quest to solitude at Rivona Caves
Rivona caves date back to the 6th Century BC and are believed to be carved out by Buddhist Monks, which alone grants its an aura of calming solitude. As per another legend, mythological protagonists of Mahabharat, the Pandava reached and stayed here, which awards these dens their alternative name, the Pandava Caves.
As several archived chronicles have linked these to different creators, the Rivona are most closely linked to the Buddhist monks given the archaeological evidence that has revealed itself. At these caves, one can see a carved out laterite, 'Pitha' which is believed to have served as the seat of the teacher.
The entry to these caves are characterised by a small stepped well or tank at the bottom rock, which also grounds a 16th-century statue of Hindu God Hanuman. This idol is what connects the lower cell with the elevated level here and you need to visit this off-the-mark tourist spot to witness how it beautifully blends different culture into a single source of beauty and reverence.
Get Set Going!
Though it is well connected to Quepem and Margao by road, it can be a little tricky to find its exact location and travellers, you might have to take help from the locals of Rivona. Moving further inside through the dense green barricades here, the adventurer in you will end up at a secret temple, hiding away the magic of eons and that too is a sight to behold.
So what are you waiting for, get set going and discover the secret yourself!