Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Orissa

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves

At a distance of 7 km from the city of Bhubaneswar lies the twin hill of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, where Khandagiri means Broken Hill while Udayagiri means Hill of Sunrise. These are regarded as a highly popular historical monument due to the rock cut edict of Asoka and being more than 2000 years old.

These hills were carved to create a multi storied accommodation for Jain monks. This work began in 1st century BC, under the rule of Kharavela. This king was well known for expanding the Kalinga Empire and his queen was known for having a good taste in art.

Various types of sculptures adorn the walls of the 18 caves of Udaugiri that are present on the right side, while the 15 caves of Khandagiri are present on the left side. Rani Gumpha which is also known as Queen’s Cave has two stories, a vast courtyard and sculptural decorations. The carvings show historic scenes and popular legends.

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