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Udaygiri Caves in Odisha

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''One of the seven wonders of Orissa, Udaygiri means hill of sunrise''

If you are on a trip to Odisha then you can surely take a short trip to the majestic caves of Udaygiri. The beauty of the place lies in the beautiful natural formations that stand tall right in front of visitors.

LOCATION : About 6 km west of Bhubaneswar

ABOUT THE CAVES : It is known to be an archaeological master-piece. Many view it as a seat for exploring and understanding history, the rock-cut architecture, art and religion. There are about 18 caves that can be reached through steps.
Every cave has a name to itself such as Rani Gumpha or Queen's Cave, Chota Hathi Gumpha or Small Elephant Cave, Alakapuri Gumpha containing sculptures of a lion holding a prey, Vijaya Gumpha - double storeyed and a bodhi tree is carved in the central apartment, Manchapuri and Swargapuri, Ganesha Gumpha, Bagh Gumpha or Tiger cave etc.
The caves can simply act as dry shelter for meditation and prayer.

GOING AROUND : The entry fee is minimal and as you enter, you are welcomed by a large number of langurs, some of which do look intimidating at first glance but are sure to be harmless. If you are daring enough then you can also feed them and enjoy watching them eat and asking for more.

You have to walk a little up hill which would roughly take about 5 to 10 minutes. Once you reach the top, the view is impressive.

The place also holds a cave in the shape of a tiger’s mouth wide open. Most tourists usually get to the tiger’s mouth to get their pictures clicked. The cave actually looks intriguing.

There is a point from where you can see a temple at the Khandagiri caves which if you are a trekking lover then you can visit. Khandagiri is not too far away from Udaygiri.

Apart from the caves, it is the floral beauty – the well maintained garden that attracts tourists here. Soft blooming colours are soothing to the eyes.

WHEN TO GO : Winters would be a good time to explore these caves.

TIPS : There are small dhabas right outside the caves. You should try the milk tea along with aloo pakodas here.

Source / Review By : Annu Choudhury

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