"Must See" Indian Heritage

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Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves ,Bhubaneswar, Khurda, Odisha

The twin hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar, anciently known as Kumara and Kumari parvatas respectively represent one of the earliest groups of Jaina rock-cut architecture in eastern India in the fields of history, rock-cut architecture, art and religion. There are all together eighteen caves in the Udayagiri and fifteen caves in the Khandagiri. The excavation of these caves was first initiated by Kharavela and his successors around the first century B.C. The rock hewning activities continued till the time of the Somavamsis of tenth-eleventh century A.D.


Outstanding Universal Value

The twin hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar, anciently known as Kumara and Kumari parvatas respectively represent one of the earliest groups of Jaina rock-cut architecture in eastern India in the fields of history, rock-cut architecture, art and religion. There are all together eighteen caves in the Udayagiri and fifteen caves in the Khandagiri. The excavation of these caves was first initiated by Kharavela and his successors around the first century B.C. The rock hewning activities continued till the time of the Somavamsis of tenth-eleventh century A.D. Most of the caves consist of a row of cells with portion opening into courtyard. The door way of cells has pilasters on either side with crowning animal figures and arches, decorated with flowers, creepers and animal motifs.

The sculptural and decorative art of the caves include panels/friezes depicting popular legends, historical episodes, religious observances, dancing performances. Besides, individual guards, bracket figures, vidyadharas, floral and geometrical patterns are noteworthy. The artistic embellishment in the early caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri appear to have displayed a decided advance on the work of Bharut and Sanchi of Madhyadesa. The artist has attained sufficient mastery over form and skill in depicting figures in every position- front, back and side. As the caves were excavated for the residence of Jaina monks, it is reasonable to except that their architecture and art would yield substantial information about contemporary religious beliefs and practises.

The early reliefs are only peep-hole affording inkling in to the life that existed when they were carved. Contemporary dress and ornaments are faithfully portrayed. The reliefs also delineate the lighter side of life, like music, dance, sporting in the lotus lakes and even amour. Dancing seems to have been the monopoly of women and the orchestra was also often formed of women. Among all the caves, the double storied Ranigumpha is the most imposing one in the Udayagiri. Besides, the caves like Svargapuri-Manchapuri and Jaya-Vijaya on the Udayagiri are also double storied. The famous inscription of Kharavela occurs on the roof of the Hathigumpha caves of the Udayagiri.

This is the only earliest example of rock-cut architecture in entire eastern India excepting Barbara and Lomasarisi cave near Gaya ((Bihar). The Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela was also the first charter to describe the achievement of king in a very chronological order.

Monument Information
Approach
  • Nearest Airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Bhubaneswar Railway Station
  • Nearest Bus Station: Bhubaneswar Bus Station
Weather
  • Summers: Max Temperature- 37°C
  • Winters : Min Temperature- 10°C
  • Monsoon : Avg Rainfall- 160 cm/Annum
  • Best Season to visit: Winter Season
Opening Hours
  • Sunrise To Sunset
Facilities available at monument
  • Signages
  • Toilets for Ladies & Gentleman
  • Drinking Water Facility
  • Visitors Benches, Approach pathway
  • Landscaping
Any Museum attached with the Monument
  • Not Available
Accommodation Near the Monument
  • Panthanivas at Bhubaneswar of Orissa Tourism Development Corporation
Location Along with Other "Must See" Monuments
Street View in 360o
Ticket Value
  • Indian Visitors: Total Rs.25/-(Cash),Rs.20/-(Online) per head
  • Citizen of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries:Total Rs.25/-(Cash),Rs.20/-(Online) per head
  • Other Foreign Visitors: Total Rs.300/-(Cash),Rs.250/-(Online) per head
  • Ticket with Facilities: Rs.400/-
  • Free entry: Children below 15 years
  • Book Online Entry Ticket
Contact Details
  • Shri H.A. Naik
  • Superintending Archaeologist Bhubaneswar Circle
    Phone-91-674-2340068, 0674-2340174
    E-mail: circlebhu[dot]asi[at]gmail[dot]com, circlebhubaneswar[dot]asi[at]gov[dot]in
 

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