Exploring Chilika Lake, Xplro, Odisha

Unique Marvels of Odisha: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves Revealed

Imagine a journey through time. Nestled amidst Odisha’s picturesque landscapes, the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves aren’t just geological marvels; they’re whispers of the past carved into sandstone hills. These ancient rock-cut caves stand as testaments to Odisha’s rich heritage, serving as sanctuaries, monastic dwellings, and architectural wonders for centuries.

Step inside and embark on a captivating exploration. Trace the footsteps of artisans, ascetics, and pilgrims who once sought solace and enlightenment within these hallowed halls. Mysteries unfold, legends come alive, and history whispers through the ages. Prepare to be captivated by the allure of the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves.

How to reach:

  • Train Tracks: Bhubaneswar Railway Station, well-connected across India, is your train arrival point. Taxis or local buses will take you the remaining 6 kilometers to the caves.
  • Road Trip Ready: Well-maintained highways connect the caves to major Odisha cities. Drive yourself or hire a taxi from Bhubaneswar or Cuttack for a convenient arrival.
  • Exploring the Caves: Once there, the caves are close enough to explore on foot. For further ease within the area, hire a local auto-rickshaw or taxi.

Best time to visit:

Prime Season (October-February): Enjoy comfortable temperatures, clear skies, and ideal conditions for exploring the caves. Hike and birdwatch amidst pleasant weather, especially during winter’s peak migratory bird season.

Spring (March-May): Witness a vibrant landscape teeming with blooming flowers and lush greenery. Explore the caves comfortably during mornings or afternoons as temperatures rise.

Monsoon (June-September): Embrace the lush, rejuvenated surroundings, but be prepared for occasional travel disruptions due to rain. This season offers a tranquil experience with fewer crowds.

Autumn (October-November): Enjoy pleasant weather and clear skies perfect for outdoor activities. Explore the caves comfortably as temperatures cool down and the monsoon season winds down.


Udayagiri Caves:

Udayagiri Caves, Xplro

Unveiling Odisha’s ancient legacy, the Udayagiri Caves, dating back to the 2nd century BCE, are a magnificent assemblage of rock-cut wonders. Explore these architectural marvels and be mesmerized by the intricate carvings adorning the Hathigumpha (“Elephant Cave”), depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and the life of King Kharavela. Marvel at the ornate pillars, sculpted panels, and intricate reliefs of the Rani Gumpha (“Queen’s Cave”). Seek blessings and delve into history at the Ganeshagumpha (“Ganesha Cave”) showcasing captivating carvings of deities. Each cave whispers a tale, offering a glimpse into Odisha’s rich cultural heritage and a captivating experience for pilgrims and history enthusiasts alike.

Khandagiri Caves:

Khandagiri Caves, Xplro

Odisha’s ancient narrative unfolds further at the Khandagiri Caves, a remarkable complex flanking the Udayagiri wonders. Carved in the 2nd century BCE, these caves are dedicated to Jainism, their walls adorned with intricate narratives. Seek out the Ananta Cave, a jewel showcasing a reclining Vishnu and scenes from Lord Krishna’s life. The Hathi Gumpha (“Elephant Cave”) lives up to its name with a unique rock formation, while inscriptions whisper of King Kharavela’s reign. Find peace at the Navamuni Gumpha (“Nine Jain Monk Cave”) and soak in the panoramic vistas that elevate the tranquility of this Jain sanctuary.

Natural Beauty:

Natural Beauty, Xplro

Flanking the Udayagiri Caves like a silent guardian, the Khandagiri Caves unveil another facet of Odisha’s ancient past. Carved in the 2nd century BCE, these remarkable sanctuaries are dedicated to Jainism. Intricate narratives depicting deities, myths, and historical figures adorn the walls, whispering tales of a bygone era. Seek out the Ananta Cave, a jewel showcasing a reclining Vishnu and scenes from Lord Krishna’s life. Keep an eye out for the Hathi Gumpha (“Elephant Cave”) named for its unique rock formation, and inscriptions that whisper of King Kharavela’s reign. Find solace at the Navamuni Gumpha (“Nine Jain Monk Cave”) and be captivated by the panoramic views that elevate the tranquility of this Jain sanctuary.

Historical Significance, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves:

Historical Significance, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Xplro

The Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves aren’t just ancient chambers; they’re Odisha’s whispering chronicle. Carved centuries ago, these sanctuaries hum with the echoes of a bygone era. Imagine monks and scholars seeking solace within these secluded walls, their prayers and contemplations leaving an invisible imprint. Empires rose and fell, religions flourished, and civilizations transformed – the caves witnessed it all. Today, they stand as silent sentinels, their very presence a testament to the region’s rich tapestry, forever etched in stone.

Local Experiences:

  • Temple Trail: Embark on a spiritual journey through Bhubaneswar, the “City of Temples.” Explore iconic wonders like Lingaraj Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, and Rajarani Temple, each a unique architectural marvel.
  • A Culinary Adventure: Tantalize your taste buds with authentic Odia cuisine. Savor local favorites like Pakhala Bhata (fermented rice), Chhena Poda (cottage cheese dessert), and Machha Besara (fish curry).
  • Unleash Your Creativity: Immerse yourself in Odisha’s rich crafts scene. Attend workshops and learn traditional crafts like Pattachitra (scroll painting), Applique Work, and Silver Filigree. Create your own masterpiece under expert guidance!
  • Cultural Extravaganza: Immerse yourself in vibrant performances – classical dance, music concerts, and folk art shows. Witness the region’s rich heritage come alive on stage.
  • Treasure Hunt: Explore local markets and villages to discover unique souvenirs and handcrafted items. Find intricately designed textiles, pottery, sculptures, and tribal artwork.
  • Village Echoes: Embark on guided village tours to experience rural Odisha. Interact with locals, learn about their customs, and gain insights into traditional practices.
  • Nature’s Embrace: Discover Odisha’s beauty with nature walks in parks and sanctuaries. Explore Nandankanan Zoological Park, Chandaka Elephant Reserve, or Ekamra Kanan Botanical Gardens.
  • Glide Through Serenity: Enjoy scenic boat rides on Odisha’s rivers and lakes. Witness stunning landscapes and spot birds at Chilika Lake, Bhitarkanika National Park, or Mahanadi River.
  • Inner Peace Awaits: Rejuvenate at yoga and meditation retreats in serene ashrams and wellness centers. Practice yoga, meditation, and holistic healing techniques.
  • Coastal Bliss: Escape to Odisha’s coastline. Relax on pristine beaches like Puri Beach, Chandrabhaga Beach, or Gopalpur Beach. Enjoy water sports, beachside picnics, and unforgettable sunsets.

Travel tips:

  • Plan in Advance: Research opening hours, ticket prices, and any special events or festivals happening at the caves before your trip. Xplro.com offers comprehensive travel guides to help you plan your itinerary seamlessly [link to relevant Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves page on Xplro.com.
  • Comfortable Shoes are Key: The terrain around the caves can be uneven and rocky. Wear sturdy shoes with good grip for easy exploration.
  • Hydration and Snacks: Stay hydrated and energized! Carry a sufficient water bottle and light snacks to keep you going throughout your visit.
  • Respect the Heritage: Preserve the cultural heritage and environment by following the cave’s rules and regulations. These may include restrictions on photography, touching sculptures, or littering.
  • Sun Protection: Especially during hot and sunny weather, shield yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
  • Hygiene Essentials: Restroom facilities may be limited at the caves. Carry hand sanitizer and tissues to maintain personal hygiene.
  • Monkey Business: Be cautious of monkeys around the caves. They might be drawn to food and can sometimes become aggressive. Avoid carrying open food items.
  • Keep Your Belongings Safe: Stay alert, especially in crowded areas, and keep an eye on your valuables to prevent theft or loss.
  • Unravel the History: Delve deeper into the caves’ significance! Take advantage of guided tours or audio guides (if available) to learn about their history, architecture, and cultural importance.


Unveiling Odisha’s soul, the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are more than ancient chambers; they’re portals to a bygone era. Intricate carvings whisper tales of gods, goddesses, and celestial beings, testaments to the artistry and deep spirituality of the past. As you wander through, awe at the creators’ ingenuity transcends the historical and architectural significance. These caves become a space for introspection, inviting you to connect with the past’s spiritual essence. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or simply curious, the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves leave an indelible mark – a place where history whispers and legends come alive in stone.


  1. Q: What are Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves?
    • A: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are ancient rock-cut cave complexes located near Bhubaneswar, Odisha, dating back to the 2nd century BCE. They are renowned for their historical significance, architectural brilliance, and intricate sculptures.
  2. Q: How far are Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves from Bhubaneswar?
    • A: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are approximately 6 kilometers away from Bhubaneswar, making them easily accessible by road.
  3. Q: What is the significance of Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves?
    • A: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves hold immense historical and religious significance, serving as important centers of pilgrimage and meditation for centuries. They are associated with Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
  4. Q: Are Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves open to the public?
    • A: Yes, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are open to the public for visitation. They have designated visiting hours and entry fees for tourists.
  5. Q: What can visitors see at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves?
    • A: Visitors can explore the intricately carved cave chambers, sculptures of deities, inscriptions, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  6. Q: Are there any guided tours available at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves?
    • A: Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to learn more about the history, architecture, and significance of Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves.
  7. Q: Can visitors take photographs inside the caves?
    • A: Yes, photography is allowed inside the caves for personal use. However, there may be restrictions on using flash photography or tripods.
  8. Q: Are there facilities like restrooms and eateries available near the caves?
    • A: Yes, there are restroom facilities and eateries available near Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves to cater to the needs of visitors.
  9. Q: What is the best time to visit Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves?
    • A: The best time to visit Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves is during the winter months, from October to February, when the weather is pleasant and conducive to sightseeing.
  10. Q: Are Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves accessible for differently-abled visitors?
    • A: While the terrain around the caves may be uneven, efforts have been made to make them accessible to differently-abled visitors with the installation of ramps and other facilities.
  11. Q: Can visitors hire guides at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves?
    • A: Yes, visitors have the option to hire guides at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves who can provide detailed information and insights about the caves during their visit.
  12. Q: Are there any nearby attractions or places of interest to visit along with Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves?
    • A: Yes, visitors can explore other nearby attractions such as temples, museums, and parks in Bhubaneswar, along with Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, to make the most of their trip.

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