Emphatically not to be missed while you’re in the state of Bihar is a visit to the Indasala Cave – easily managed as a day-trip from Gaya or Rajgir. Set at the base of a cliff of sheer rocks in the Giriyek Mountain in the midst of a serene and tranquil landscape, Indasala Cave is a famed Buddhist site to the east of Rajgir. Its claim to fame lies in its being the place where the Buddha is said to have delivered one of his most thought provoking sermons which are recorded in the Sakkapanha Sutta.
According to the Buddhist accounts, Sakka, an inquisitive person who was searching answers for his questions, came to the cave where the Buddha stayed for some time and asked his eight questions which were fittingly answered by the Buddha .
It was during his stay at Indasala Cave that the Buddha uttered verses 206, 207 and 208 of the beautiful Pali text, Dhammapada (Verses on the Virtues). Added to this, the Indasala Cave also played host to Buddhasrijnana, the famous commentator on the Guhyasamaja Tantra.
Another prime attraction of the area is the Hansa Stupa, located on the top of the Giriyek Mountain. The stupa, hailed as the most complete one in India, finds mention in the accounts of famous 7th century Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang who gives a valuable description of its construction. Hiuen Tsang made it a point to visit this stupa.
Before Hiuen Tsang, Indasala Cave was also visited in the fifth century AD by the Chinese monk Fa-hsien who came to India to obtain copies of Buddhist scriptures.
How to Reach Indasala Cave
Air: The nearest airport to Indasala Cave is in Patna which is connected by flights to major cities in India.
Rail: Rajgir, the nearest railway station to Indasala Cave is well connected by rail with major places and cities in the country including Delhi, Patna and Gaya.
Road: There are regular bus services to Indasala Cave from Rajgir. Private buses, taxis and cars can be hired to reach Indasala Cave from Rajgir and Gaya. From Rajgir you can take the Giriyek road which runs parallel to the mountain on the north side.
Best Time to Visit
October to March is the best time to visit Indasala Cave when daytime temperatures are not extreme.