Udaygiri and Kandhagiri Caves are located on the hills that historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India. The caves are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri, This twins caves are famous for exotic carved sculpture friezes on the wall of caves. Twins hills are believed to be a home of Buddhist and Jain monk’s way back to 2nd century.
The caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, called lena or leṇa in the inscriptions, were dug out mostly during the reign of Kharavela for the abode of Jaina ascetics. The most important of this group is Ranigumpha in Udayagiri which is a double storeyed monastery.
There are series of ancient Jain temples lined up on the top of the hills. “Rani Gupha or Queen’s Place” cave is two storeyed and most impressive among all. There are exquisite sculptures carved on the walls, huge pillars are also depicts religious and royal scenes. Most of the caves were the homes of Jain monks who mulled over in the caves survived an ascetic life. The cave bore no comfort, only built to give basic shelter.
In Udayagiri, Hathigumpha and Ganeshagumpha are especially well known due to art treasures of their sculptures and reliefs as well as due to their historical importance. Rani ka Naur is also an extensively carved cave and elaborately embellished with sculptural friezes. Khandagiri offers a fine view back over Bhubaneswar from its summit. The Ananta cave depicts carved figures of women, elephants, athletes, and geese carrying flowers.
The Great king Kharavela, modeled these caves for the dwelling of Jain monks. Located at 6 km from the main city Bhubaneswar, these caves are believed to be built around 2nd century B.C. Historically and archaeologically and historically these caves are significant as 13 year of megalithic record of rulers like Chetis’ (Chedis). Kudepasiri and Vadukha are engraved on the walls and pillars of the caves.
Best time to visit – October to January
Bhubaneswar hosts a series of temples and exotic tourist destination. Therefore, it is not at all problem for any traveler to roaming around. Regualr flights as well as buses, taxis and other vehicles are easily available.
By Air : Bhubaneswar hosts many private airlines as well as Indian airlines. Airport is 3 km from the city and almost all the major cities in India are connected through air route.
By Rail : Bhubaneswar has an excellent railway network, all the major cities are connected with Bhubaneswar.
By Road : The national highway no.5 touches this capital city. The main bus stand is Barmunda that is 8 km away from the city center. From there you can take interstate bus to adjacent cities and town. Interstate bus services operate daily in between Calcutta and Puri via Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar to Tata Nagar.