Bagh Caves

Useful Information

Location: Western Madhya Pradesh.
In the Narmada valley among the southern slopes of the Vindhya hill in Kukshi Tahsil of Dhar District. The caves are about 152 km by road from the nearest railway station Mhow, on Ajmer-Khandwa narrow gauge section of the Western Railway. These caves are 50 km west of Mandu, seven km from the village of Bagh and three km off the main road.
(22.323596, 74.805527)
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Sir John Marshall et al (1927): The Bagh Caves, reprinted 1982 78 pp 9 colour 19 B&W plates. HB DW
Another historical re-print which describes the history of the caves and their paintings.
Anupa Pande (2002): The Buddhist Cave Paintings of Bagh, xvi 212 pp, colour plates. Aryan Books International, New Delhi. ISBN 81-7305-218-2

Address: Bagh Caves, Bagh Cave Road, Naingaon, Dhar, Madhya Pradesh 454221.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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400-700 caves excavated.
1818 cave rediscovered.


Before the caves were rediscovered they were home to many tigers or Bagh and this is how the caves got their name. Until recently these caves were roughly assigned to the Seventh Century from the style of architecture and painting, but a recently inscribed copper plate suggests a 4th or 5th Century AD origin.

These caves are a disappointment. The ravages of time have taken their toll and cave-ins and weathering has badly damaged the paintings. There are some reproductions in the Archaeological Museum in Gwalior which show the caves in their former glory. Marshal's book is worth obtaining for a view of the cave in its prime.

Text by Tony Oldham (2003). With kind permission.