Goa has finally proven to me that it is a place special not only because of the beaches and surfing but it is also a place where the architecture is equally breathtaking and impressive. The few places that I had already visited were proof of that. Just after the visit to the Se Cathedral Goa, I moved to the Bicholim town situated in North Goa where the Arvalem Caves Goa is located.
There are different concepts of origin for the caves, in fact there are innumerable who maintain that the caves are associated with the Pandavas of the Mahabharata who sought refuge in the caves during their period of exile. But others who do not agree with this theory consider the caves Buddhist in origin because there is a statue of Buddha near the caves which is a true proof of the belief. Although the architecture also speaks of Buddhist influences likewise if one seeks proof for the stay of the Pandavas, the fact that the caves are segregated into five chambers and there is the idol of Lord Shiva is proof enough for the theory of the Pandavas.
I entered the cave premise and the cave seemed simple enough, no paintings on the wall, no further paraphernalia just the mute descriptions that spoke volumes of the theories that people believed in. The cave remains open for public between 2 PM and 5 PM only and as it was close to 5, people began moving out. I also made my way out and once out in the windy atmosphere, I took a breath or two to understand it all-the experiences and the ambivalences. The Arvalem Caves Goa is a mystery for sure whose true story will remain concealed from the world. I would move away from it but it would forever remain in my heart, the uncertainty that what exactly may have transpired in the caves-whether it remained influential for the Buddhist sect or it actually dated back to the 6th century, the confusion would go on. But with the day’s conclusion, I would visit the Fort Aguada Goa next day to witness yet another impressive sightsee that Goa is famous for.