Udayagiri Khandagiri Caves
Are one of the most important landmarks of Bhubaneswar (capital city of Odisha). These are protected monuments and National heritage maintained by Archeological Survey of India. A total 33 caves are available today combining caves on Udaygiri and Khanagiri hill. Some of these caves are naturally formed. It is believed that these caves were used to be for residential purpose of the Jain Monks. Most of these caves dug out in the 2nd century BC during the reign of Raja Kharavela. He was the most notable ruler of Mahameghavahana dynasty that came into existence after fall of Mauryan rule.
These caves are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri, which was also known Kumari Parvat in ancient time. There are 18 caves on Udaygiri Hill while 15 found on Khandagiri hill. Hathi Gumpha, Ganesh Gumpha and Rani Gumpha are most important among all of the caves. As these caves are situated on high elevation, exploring these cave also provide you a bird view of Bhubaneswar city. There is a Jain temple situated on the top of Khandagiri hill.
Ticket charges and Timings
There is a little entry fee of 15/- rupee for Indians and 10 dollar for foreign visitor. Site remains open from Sunrise to Sunset.
Important caves of Udaygiri Hill
Hathi Gumpha (Cave no-14)-This is a natural formed cave with large opening of eye shape. It is the first cave you see after climbing up long stair at Udaygiri. There are seventeen lines deep cut inscription found in Brahmi script written by Raja Kharavela that makes it, a cave of historical importance.
Ganesh Gumpha(Cave no-10)-– After a little walk in left of Hathi Gumpha, there you will see two elephants sculpture standing in front of a beautifully carved cave. There is a figure of Lord Ganesha carved out on the wall of its right cell.
Rani Gumpha(Cave no-01)—It is the largest and most popular cave among all the caves. It is a double storied rock cut cave having veranda on both the floor with seven columns on upper floor and nine columns on lower portion. These cells have some beautiful carved figures of King’s victory march, wild animals, trees, men and women playing musical instruments.
Vyaghra Gumpha(Cave no-12)— Also known tiger cave because of its entrance resemble like open mouth a tiger. It is one of the most photographed caves of Udayagiri.
Important caves of Khandagiri Hill
There is a temple on Khandagiri hill, which have image of Jain Tirthankaras, Mahavira and Bhagwan Bahubali. The temple could be seen from a few km away. There is one double storied Jain monastery near the temple.
Navamuni Gumpha- It has sculptures of nine Jain Tirthankaras and Sasana Devis
Barabhuji Gumpha- It has twelve armed Sasana Devis. There are few Tirthankara sculptures also there. The Sasana Devis considered to be form of Hindu deity Durga.
Trusula Gumpha- There are three sculptures of Rishabha Deva in the standing posture and 24 rough image of Jain Tirthankaras.
How to reach Udaygiri and Khandagiri cave, Bhubaneshwar
It is located approx 6 km from Bhubaneshwar Rail Junction and very close to Baramunda Bus stand.
Air: Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar is just 7.5 km from theses caves that is well connected to other major Indian cities.
Rail: Bhubaneswar junction is major rail head which is well connected to major Indian cities and numerous trains passing through Bhubaneswar on Howrah to Puri or Howrah to South India route.
Road: The city is well connected with other city of Odisha via AC/ Non-AC Buses and main bus stand of Bhubaneswar is just a Km away from this site.
Local Transport: For the local transport you can book Auto rickshaw or Ola Cab service.