UDAYGIRI CAVES FACTS & FIGURES
- Best time to Visit: September to March.
- Significance: Important Jain Pilgrimage Center Jain temples, Falna, Sadri, Ghanerao.
Modelled by the great Jain king Kharavela, who ruled from 168 to 153 B.C., these coarse grained sandstone caves were meant as dwellings for Jain monks. Udayagiri (Hill of the Sunrise) and Khandagiri (Broken Hill), which rise 40 meter above the lateritic and parched plain surroundings, are just steeping compartments with low roof, ratifying the austerity and sobriety of the monks.
Located at 6 km from Bhubaneswar, these 113 caves were built around 2nd century B.C. Archaeologically significant, because of the Pali records engraved in the Hathi Gumpha, these caves display the 13 year megalithic record of king Kharavela.
One of the earliest of Jain rock-cut shelters, the caves of Udayagiri dominates a prime position in eastern India in the fields of history, rock-cut architecture, art and religion.
Huge residential blocks for the Jain monks were carved out of the rocks at Khandagiri and Udayagiri in the 1st century BC, in the city of Bhubaneswar. These caves were also an excellent canvas for the detailing of various achievements of King Kharavela’s reign.
There are about 18 rock- hewn apartments at Udaygiri alone, with the Hathi Gumpha or Elephant Cave, bearing the well-known inscriptions of the king. Both he and his queen appear to have been great patrons of the arts.
In keeping with this patronage, the Queen’s Cave is elaborately embellished with sculptural friezes and carvings of historical scenes and dancers in a variety of poses. The Ganesha Gumpha is well worth a visit. Khandagiri has also about 15 caves.
Near by Places to See
Konark Sun Temple, Konark, Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad, Ellora Caves, Aurangabad , Elephanta Caves, Aurangabad
How to Reach Udaygiri Caves
Udaygiri Kandhagiri Caves are found in the hills, which are 6 km from Bhubaneshwar. One can reach these caves from Bhubaneshwar
- Air: The domestic airport at Bhubaneshwar is situated just 3 km from the city centre. Indian Airlines provide regular services connecting Bhubaneshwar with other major cities in India.
- Rail: Bhubaneshwar railway station is conveniently located at the centre of the city.
- Road: The Baramunda bus stand is located just 8 km from the city centre. State transport buses provide regular services to all the major cities across the state.