Buddhist Cave Groups, Uperkot, Junagadh
Ticketed Monuments – Gujarat
These cave groups situated at Lat. 210 31 N; Long. 700 28 E, are located in district Junagadh. They comprise of several caves worked out in different groups with the construction period ranging from 1st -4th century A.D.
(A) Baba Pyare Caves:
This group of caves lies close to the Modhimath known as Baba Pyaras. The northern group of it has four caves. The next set of caves lies little to the south of the eastern end of the first group and has a unified plan with a spacious court and a chaitya hall, apsidal in shape. The cave pillars and door jambs of the caves suggest a clear impact of art traditions of Satavahanas period and are datable to 1st – 2nd century A.D. on the basis of architecture.
(B) Khapra Kodiya Caves:
This is the plainest of all cave groups. The chambers are cut into an east-west longitudinal ridge. The central part is somewhat narrow. The two important components of the caves are (a) the oblong western wing provided with a grid pattern of water tanks and (b) roughly a ‘L’ shape wing essentially fashioned to serve as an habitational apartments. On the basis of many scribbling and short cursive letters on the wall as recorded by Burgess the caves are datable to circa 3rd – 4th century A.D.
(C) Buddhist Caves:
Among all the Buddhist caves these caves at Uperkot is most important caves situated north – west of Jami Masjid. The cave group is in three tiers, with all members of each galleries shown in semi-relief, but only two storeys having regular floors. The upper floor has a deep tank, covered on three sides with verandahs and Kakshasana on west and north- west side. Lower floor has with corridor and pillars. The lower floor has exquisitely carved pillars whose base, shaft and capital carry unique decorative design, which may have had the Satvahana art inspiration on one hand and exotic Graeco- Scythian trends on the others. These groups of caves are assignable to 2nd – 3rd century A.D.
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