Dungeshwari or Mahakala Cave

The cave where the prince Siddhartha Gautama lived for six years as a hermit before becoming a Buddha is about 7 miles northeast of Bodhigaya, halfway between the base and the top of a rocky wall of a mountain range, on a small platform overlooking the valley and the river that runs through.

It’s a small cave, with room for little more than three seated people. The motorbiker and I went inside and sat on the floor accompanied by the watchman, an Indian disguised as sound meditator whose sole intention was posing for a photo to earn a few rupees. After five minutes of forced posture he left grumbling.

“Who was the Buddha?” asked the biker. I gave him a brief answer, and he kept on questioning. The sun hurt our eyes when we left the cave… three hours later!

mahakala-cave-exterior-gaya (photo by Lraileigh)A group of long-tailed black monkeys had gathered outside and looked at us with undisguised curiosity.

We returned to Bodhigaya in the same fashion as we left, but, instead of trying to dodge the colorful shots of the Holi celebration, we were caught up in the party atmosphere, even enjoyed the experience.