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Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves – Truly Represent Ancient Art and Buddhism

21 Jan

We were getting well connected to the historical city of Bhubaneswar and that was making us enjoy every aspect of the city. Holding the inspiring skills of the temples with us, next day we decided to further relish the historical feature of the city – Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves.

We started our day a little late as we were exhausted by the previous day’s expedition. Kids were fast asleep till 10 o’clock and my husband and I were enjoying winter morning coffee over a conversation of our ongoing vacation. We scheduled our departure to the caves after lunch. Till then, we munched the delicious breakfast in our room and watched television and then went to the restaurant for lunch. Kids were quiet revived after that so we called for the cab.

Located just about 6-7 km from Bhubaneswar, the caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri are one of the most primitive groups that symbolize Jain’s And Buddhists rock-cut shelters. The caves are recognized to be more than 2000 years old Jain temples holding some complex as well as animated carvings of vegetation, people and animals. Udayagiri means Hill of Sunrise and Khandagiri means Broken Hills. These caves are of utmost importance in history and Jain religion as well as in fields of rock cut architecture.

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These twin hills are carved into rock-cut caves, which were basically meant for the Jain monks as their dwelling retreat. The work of fine craftsmanship can be seen in these huge caves. Some caves were single storied while some were tunneled to form multistoried ancient apartments. By visiting these caves, we could almost visualize the complete lifestyle of the Buddhist monks with their frugal lives. We were amazed to see that the floor of these caves was slanting upward to function as a headrest – truly astonishing…isn’t it!

On the basis of inscriptional sources, these caves were first unearthed during the first century by King Kharavela and his successors of Chedi dynasty, who were devoted Jain. Udayagiri hill incorporates 18 caves that include a largely spaced courtyard and many historical paintings on its wall depicting historical scenes and functions. This place must have been a haven of peace.

We were mesmerized while learning about the ancient life and the work of art. This was something we had never seen before and knowledge for everyone… truly a must-visit place in Odisha!

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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Attractions, Tourism, Travel

 

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