Description : The twin hills of Khandagiri and Udaygiri, the next major Orissan historical monument after Ashoka's rock-cut edict.The rocks of the Khandagiri and Udaygiri hills were carved and tunneled, to create this multi-storied ancient apartment residence for Jain monks. They were the work of the first known Orissan ruler, King Kharavela, and probably begun in the first century BC. The main attraction of these caves consists of its stupendous carvings. Of all the caves in Udaygiri, the largest one is the Rani Gumpha or the Queen’s Cave. The cave of the queen is adorned with elaborate carvingsThe Khandagiri Caves are reached via a steep path which divides halfway up the hill. To the right is Ananta Cave with its carved figures of elephants, and women which are worth a visit. It offers a fine bird eye view of Bhubaneshwar from its summit.

Kharavela was a king of the Mahameghavahana dynasty, who is known for expansion of the Kalinga empire and his installation of public improvements, such as canal systems. His queen was evidently quite a patron of the arts, and probably had much to do with the impressive sculptural decoration of the caves. Modelled by the great Jain king Kharavela, who ruled from 168 to 153 B.C., these coarse grained sandstone caves were meant as dwellings for Jain monks. Udayagiri (Hill of the Sunrise) and Khandagiri (Broken Hill). All of the caves are small, and follow the natural configurations of the 'living rock'.The sculpture throughout exhibits a strong, lively folk element, which has been executed with a sure and confident hand. Location : Jajpur District, 90-km from Bhubaneswar, Orissa

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