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Home » East india » Orissa » Monuments » Khandagiri And Udaygiri Caves

Location : 6 Km from Bhubaneswar the capital city of Orissa.

Famous for : Jain inscriptions and sculptures.

The Khandagiri and Udaygiri Caves are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archeological significance. They have tremendous religious importance and are located near the city of Bhubaneshwar. These caves were believed to be carved out of residential blocks during the reign of King Karavela. Udayagiri has about 18 caves whereas Khandagiri has around 15 caves.

The caves of Khandagiri were dug out during the reign of Kharavela by the Jaina ascetics. The most important of this group was the Ranigumpha in Udayagiri which is double storeyed monastery.

A number of Jaina Caves on the Khandagiri side have several encroachment problems where local Brahmins residing in the area have converted these Jain caves into Hindu Shrines.

The local names of the existing caves are present below a numbered to the enumeration of the Archeological Survey of India.

The Hathigumptha caves are known for their beautiful sculptures and reliefs which have historical importance. The Anantha cave has number of figures which consist of Elephants, athletes, women as well as geese carrying flowers.

The Anantha Gumpha and the Snake cave have figures which have twin serpents on the door arches. It is one of the most important caves on the Khandagiri hills which have unique motifs and some unique relief figures.

The mancapuri cave inscriptions are written in devnagiri script. This inscription has been engraved on the right wall of Veranda. As well as to the chamber of right hand side of the main wing.

Recent Developments :

In recent years many attempts have been made to preserve these ancient caves and inscriptions. The Khandagiri caves can be reached by going up the steps to the entrance of the Udayagiri caves. The path that divides the caves can be reached by going up the steps which is next to the entrance of the Udayagiri caves. The Parrot caves have carvings of various birds on it whereas Anantha caves have carvings of elephants, women and bird carrying flowers.

There is also an 18th century Temples which is dedicated to Mahavir who is considered to be the 24th Tirthankara who prophesized the Jain religion. The temple has good view of the Lingraja temple from the city of Bhubaneswar.

The Khandagiri Caves had a steep path which gets divided halfway to the hill. The Anantha Vasudev Cave have decorated pilasters and carved figures.

The Khandagiri caves draw huge crowds of tourists every year and are thrilled with old glory and grandeur of the place.
Entry Fee :

The entry fee to the top the caves is very substantial and not more Rs.100. The cave remains open between 8 am and 6 pm everyday. The best time to visit these caves between March and April. In order to stay comfortable during the visit wearing light woolens during winter and light summer clothes during winters is recommended.

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