Udayagiri and Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar
Udayagiri and Khandagiri are two hills located in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the Indian state of Odisha. These hills are famous for their historical and archaeological significance and are popular tourist attractions in the region.
Udayagiri, also known as “Sunrise Hill,” is situated on the eastern side of Bhubaneswar. It is a complex of rock-cut caves that date back to the 2nd century BC. The caves were originally carved out as residential retreats for Jain monks. Udayagiri consists of around 18 caves, each having distinct architectural features and carvings. The caves are adorned with intricate sculptures, inscriptions, and artwork depicting various mythological figures, Jain deities, and scenes from everyday life. The most notable cave in Udayagiri is the Rani Gumpha (Queen’s Cave), which is known for its beautifully carved doorways and sculptures.
Khandagiri, also known as “Broken Hill,” is located adjacent to Udayagiri. It is also a complex of rock-cut caves and is closely associated with Jainism. The caves of Khandagiri were created as dwelling places for Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela of the Mahameghavahana dynasty in the 1st century BC. Khandagiri comprises a total of 15 caves, each with its own unique features and carvings. The caves feature ornate sculptures, inscriptions, and reliefs depicting Jain teachings, religious motifs, and historical events. The most famous cave in Khandagiri is the Hathi Gumpha (Elephant Cave), which has an inscription detailing the exploits of King Kharavela.
Visiting Udayagiri and Khandagiri provides an opportunity to explore ancient Jain cave architecture, marvel at intricate carvings, and learn about the rich history of the region. The caves are not only significant from an archaeological perspective but also hold religious and cultural importance for followers of Jainism.
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Information about Udayagiri and Khandagiri
Location: Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751030
Price: Indians – Rs 20; Foreigners – Rs 200 only for Udaygiri and No entry for Khandagiri
Timing: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Things to do at Udayagiri and Khandagiri
Udayagiri and Khandagiri are two ancient hill caves located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. These sites are famous for their historical and archaeological significance. Here are some things you can do when visiting Udayagiri and Khandagiri:
Explore the caves: Udayagiri and Khandagiri consist of numerous caves carved out of the hillsides. Take the time to explore the caves and marvel at the intricate rock-cut architecture. Each cave has its own unique features, including ornate carvings, inscriptions, and chambers. You can walk through the caves, observe the artwork, and imagine what life was like during their construction.
Visit the Jain temples: Both Udayagiri and Khandagiri have Jain temples that are worth exploring. The Rani Gumpha (Queen’s Cave) in Udayagiri and the Ananta Gumpha (Snake Cave) in Khandagiri are particularly notable. These temples have beautiful sculptures and reliefs depicting Jain deities and scenes from Jain mythology.
Enjoy panoramic views: From the hilltops of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Take a moment to appreciate the scenic beauty and capture some photographs of the breathtaking vistas.
Learn about history and archaeology: Udayagiri and Khandagiri are important archaeological sites that provide insights into the region’s history. You can learn about the historical significance of the caves, their purpose, and the cultural context in which they were created. Some caves have inscriptions that provide valuable information about the rulers and patrons of that era.
Take a guided tour: To make the most of your visit, consider hiring a local guide or joining a guided tour. Guides can provide detailed explanations about the caves, their history, and the significance of the various features. They can also help you navigate through the caves and ensure you don’t miss any important details.
Picnic or relax in the surrounding area: The area around Udayagiri and Khandagiri is serene and peaceful, making it a great spot for a picnic or simply to relax and enjoy nature. You can bring some snacks or a packed lunch and find a shady spot to unwind amidst the beautiful surroundings.
Visit nearby attractions: Bhubaneswar is a city with rich cultural heritage, and there are several other attractions nearby that you can visit. Some notable places include the Lingaraj Temple, Rajarani Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, and the Odisha State Museum. These sites provide further insights into the region’s history and architectural marvels.
Remember to wear comfortable footwear as you’ll be walking on uneven surfaces in the caves. Additionally, carry water, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Respect the historical significance of the site by refraining from touching or damaging any carvings or structures. Enjoy your visit to Udayagiri and Khandagiri!
FAQs on Udayagiri and Khandagiri
Udayagiri and Khandagiri are known for their ancient rock-cut cave complexes. These caves were carved out of the sandstone hills during the reign of King Kharavela of the Mahameghavahana dynasty in the 1st century BCE. They serve as significant archaeological and historical sites in Odisha.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri together have a total of 33 caves. Udayagiri has 18 caves, while Khandagiri has 15 caves. These caves were used as residential retreats for Jain monks during ancient times.
Yes, the caves at Udayagiri and Khandagiri are open to the public. Visitors can explore the cave complexes and marvel at the intricate carvings, inscriptions, and sculptures that depict various mythological figures, animals, and Jain deities.
The best time to visit Udayagiri and Khandagiri is during the winter season, from October to February, when the weather is relatively cool and pleasant. The summer months, from March to June, can be hot and humid in Bhubaneswar. It’s advisable to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat.
Yes, guides are available at Udayagiri and Khandagiri to provide information about the history, significance, and architectural details of the caves. Hiring a guide can enhance your understanding and appreciation of these ancient sites.
Yes, photography is generally allowed inside the caves at Udayagiri and Khandagiri. However, it’s advisable to check with the authorities or the guide for any specific restrictions or guidelines regarding photography.
Yes, various modes of transportation are available to reach Udayagiri and Khandagiri. You can hire a taxi, auto-rickshaw, or use public buses to reach the site. Bhubaneswar is well-connected by road, rail, and air, making it easily accessible from different parts of India.
Yes, there are other attractions near Udayagiri and Khandagiri that you can visit. The nearby attractions include the Lingaraj Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, Rajarani Temple, Odisha State Museum, and Nandankanan Zoological Park, among others.