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Udaigiri Khandagiri Caves


Elephant Cave, OrissaStanding as a legacy and evidence of the influence of Jainism in the state of Orissa, these twin hills of Udaygiri and Khandagiri is located 8 kilometres from the city of Bhubaneshwar, in the district of Jajpur. The monastery is situated at the foothills of a huge mountain that provides an enticing backdrop to the entire structure. It has acted as the place of an early Jain Monastery that was engraved into cave type compartments in the surface of the hill. These caves with pictographic carvings date back to the 2nd century BC. The most striking is the Rani Gumpha or the Queen’s Cave which is one of the largest caves – double storied, sumptuously embroidered with fine carvings. On the other hand, the Hati Gumpha or the Elephant Cave bears the inscriptions of the records of the period of influence of King Kharavela.


The picturesque beauty of the surrounding of Udaygiri augments among the grandiose remnants of the ancient Jain monastery, originally named as Madhavapura Mahavihara with numerous sculptures of Buddha all around – the Bodhisattava statues and the Dhyani Buddha statures. The alluring mountain tops beckon the tourists to travel the meandering hilly road and ascent to the hill peak.

 

 

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