The caves of Khandagiri


Khandagiri CavesThe caves of Khandagiri are famous as the popular Jain pilgrimage center. It is believed that these caves in the ancient times were inhabited by the number of Jain scholars. They are believed to be over 2000 years old. These caves present the finest example of the Jain and Buddhist occupation.

A few km west of Bhubaneswar city centre are two hills, facing each other, honeycombed with caves, most of which are numbered. One of them Khandigiri caves of Orissa bear relics to the rich religious history of the ancient times. Located at a short distance of just six kilometers from Bhubaneshwar, the Khandagiri caves are notable Orissa attractions that offer the tourists to experience the archaeological remnants of the bygone era. T he caves of Khandagiri are located at the height of the 118 feet. It is situated on the hill rock slope facing the Udayagiri caves. Khandagiri means the 'broken hill' and the Udayagiri means 'hill of the sunrise'.

Khandagiri houses the total of 15 caves. Each cave of Khandagiri is beautifully designed with the paintings and motifs. The caves of Khandagiri can be reached either by climbing the flight of steps leadingKhandagiri Caves from the road, up from the main entrance of the Udayagiri caves or by cutting directly across from the Hathi Gumpha, via the steps that drop down from the cave 17. Akshya Ganga, Gupta Ganga, Shyam Kund and Radha kund are some of the most famous caves of the Khandagiri.The most interesting among them all is the 24 Tirthankaras Cave, which contains the carvings of the twenty four Apostles of Jainism on the monolithic stones.Visit Cave 1 and 2 popularly known as the parrot cave because of the because of the carvings of the birds on the doorway arches. They are also locally known as the Tatowa cave. Explore the Ananta Cave (snake cave), which contains the carvings of the elephants, womens and the birds carrying flowers. The Anantha Gumpha also contains the decoration in the shape of the serpent at the entrance. It is the most impressive cave among all the other caves of the Khandagiri. The best place to visit at Khandagiri is the modern Jain temple at the top of the hill, dedicated to the, Mahavira, the 24th tirthankara (Jain teacher).

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