Search: in
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Encyclopedia Encyclopedia
  Tutorials     Encyclopedia     Videos     Books     Software     DVDs  

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves

Udayagiri Looking onto the Udayagiri caves from Khandagiri, in Bhubaneswar. Ranigumpha (cave no-1) Udayagiri Ganeshagumpha (cave no-10) Udayagiri Hathigumpha (cave no-14) Udayagiri

Khandagiri caves
Khandagiri caves
Udayagiri caves

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves() are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Orissa, India. The caves are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri, mentioned as Kumari Parvat in the Hathigumpha inscription. They have a number of finely and ornately carved caves. It is believed that most of these caves were carved out as residential blocks for Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela. Udayagiri means "Sunrise Hill" and has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves.

The caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, called lena or le a in the inscriptions, were dug out mostly during the reign of Kharavela for the abode of Jaina ascetics. The most important of this group is Ranigumpha in Udayagiri which is a double storeyed monastery.

Unfortunately, a number of the Jaina caves on the Khandagiri side have encroachment problems, with local Brahmins turning them into Hindu shrines and covering up some of the Jaina iconography for eaning money. You can see some pics about this here:


Count of the caves

B.M. Barua, basing on a reading of line 14 of the Hathigumpha inscription declared that altogether one hundred and seventeen caves were caused to be excavated by Kharavela and others on the Kumari hill (Udayagiri). Marshall has counted more than 35 caves in both the hills, while M.M. Ganguli has enumerated only twenty seven caves.

The number of existing caves may be counted at Udayagiri as eighteen, while Khandagiri present only fifteen excavation. The local names of the existing caves are present below and those are numbered according to the enumeration of the Archaeological Survey of India.

The famous caves

In Udayagiri, Hathigumpha (cave 14) and Ganeshagumpha (cave 10) are especially well known due to art treasures of their sculptures and reliefs as well as due to their historical importance. Rani ka Naur (Queen's Palace cave, cave 1) is also an extensively carved cave and elaborately embellished with sculptural friezes. Khandagiri offers a fine view back over Bhubaneswar from its summit. The Ananta cave (cave 3) depicts carved figures of women, elephants, athletes, and geese carrying flowers.

Inscriptions in Caves in Brahmi

Hathigumpha inscription

Inscription in Udaigiri The Hathigumpha cave ("Elephant Cave") has Hathigumpha inscription, written by Raja Kharavela, the king of Kalinga in India, during the 2nd century BCE. Hathigumpha inscription consists of seventeen lines incised in deep cut Brahmi letters on the overhanging brow of a natural cavern Hathigumpha in the southern side of the Udayagiri hill. It faces straight towards the rock Edicts of Asoka at Dhauli situated at a distance of about six miles.

Other minor inscriptions

Besides Hathigumpha Inscription of Kharavela, there are some other minor Brahmi inscriptions in the twin hillocks of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, which were deciphered earlier by Prof RD Banergy during 1915-16 (Epigraphic Indica-XIII) and BM Baraua (Indian Historical Quarterly-XIV). Sadananda Agrawal has given further clarifications about them and are produced as under:

I- Mancapuri cave inscription (Upper storey)

This inscription is engraved on the raised space between the second and third doorways of the cave. The text in Devanagari script is as under:




Translation - By the blessings of Arhats, the chief queen of Kharavela, the Cakravarti monarch of Kalinga, the great granddaughter of Hathisiha (Hasti Simha) and the daughter of Lal ka or Lal rka caused to be excavated the cave for the sramanas of Kalinga.

II- Mancapuri cave inscription (Upper storey)-A

This inscription is incised on a raised bend between the 3rd and 4th doorways from the left and contains single line. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

Translation - This is the cave of Aira Mahameghavahana Maharaja Kudepasiri, the overlord of Kalinga.

Note:- Kudepasiri seems to be the immediate successor of Kharavela.

III-Manchapuri cave inscription 'B' (Lower storey)

This inscription has been engraved on the right wall of Veranda, to the right of the entrance to the right-hand side chamber of the main wing, consisting of one line. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

Translation - [This is] the cave of Prince .

Note:- On palaeographic ground Prof Banergy considers this inscription to be a little earlier than the inscription of King Kudepasiri. According to Sadananda Agrawal, Prince Badukha stands an obscure figure in history, but Badukha seems to be the son or brother of Kudepasiri.

IV- Inscriptions in the Sarpagumpha (Over the door way)

This inscription consisting of one line, is incised over the doorway of the Sarpagumpha. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

Translation - The chamber and veranda/or side chamber of c lakama. Note:- However Dr. Sahu interpreted Ajeya being united by a Sandhi qualifying Ko ha there by denoting invincible. But he ignored the conjunction ca (Devanagari: ) which follows Ko ha(Devanagari: ) and Jeya (Devanagari: ).

V- Inscription in the Sarpagumpha ( to the left of the doorway) The text in Devanagari script is as under:



Translation :- [The pavilion is the] gift of Kamma and Halakhina.

Note:- Most probably Halakhi a was the wife of Kamma. Ch lakamma - found in the inscription No.IV and Kamma of this record indicate official designations rather than the proper names. Kamma may be taken as minister of works (Karma saciva) and C lakamma appears to be a junior cadre of minister in the Department of works.

VI- Haridas cave inscription

This inscription contains one line has been incised over one of the three entrances to the main chamber of the cave from the veranda. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

Translation :- The chamber and veranda (or side chamber) are the gift of c lakama.

VII- Vy ghragumph inscription

The record is incised on the outer wall of the inner chamber. The text in Devanagari script is as under:



Translation :- The cave of Bh ti, the city judge.

VIII- Jambesavara cave inscription

This inscription has been engraved over the entrances to the inner chamber of the cave. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

Translation :- The cave of Maham da N kiya and B riy .

X- Tatow gumph inscription (Cave No -1)

The record of this inscription is incised over one of the entrances to the inner chamber. The Text reads in Sanskrit as

x [ ]

Translation: The cave of Kusuma, the padamulika.

Notes:- There is a syllable after the word lenam, which may be read as ni or phi,. padamulika literally means, one who serves at the feet [of king].

According to Kishori Lal Faujdar, Here Kusuma seems to be related with Kaswan clan of Jats. He refers an article Hathi Gumpha and three other inscriptions (page 24) in Devanagari as under[1]:


Translation:- This translates that the city of 'Masikanagara ' was obtained with the help of 'Kuswan' Kshatriyas.

Note:- Sadananda Agrawal has interpreted Masikanagara as Asikanagara and identified with the city Adam (Nagpur district). In view of the evidence of a highly prosperous city unearthed at Adam, Prof AM Shastri is of the opinion that Adam itself represents the Asikanagara of Hathigumpha inscription. It is worth noting in the present context that a terracotta sealing having a legend, has been discovered from Adam,[2] situated on the right bank of the river Wainganga, which reads Asakajanapadasa (Devanagari: ).

XI- Ananta Gumpha inscription (A)

The record is incised on the architrave between the left ante and the fifth pillar. The text in Oriya script is: (Devanagari:

Translation :- The cave of the Dohada .

List of Caves at Udayagiri

Snake mouth shaped cave


  1. Ranigumpha
  2. Bajagharagumpha
  3. Chota Hathigumpha
  4. Alkapurigumpha
  5. Jaya-vijayagumpha
  6. Panasagumpha
  7. Thakuranigumpha
  8. Patalapurigumpha
  9. Mancapurigumpha
  10. Ganesagumpha
  11. Jambesvaragumpha
  12. Vyaghragumpha
  13. Sarpagumpha
  14. Hathigumpha
  15. Dhanagharagumpha
  16. Haridasagumpha
  17. Jagammathgumpha
  18. Rosaigumpha

List of Caves at Khandagiri

  1. Tatowagumpha No.-1
  2. Tatowagumpha No.-2
  3. Anantagumpha
  4. Tentuligumpha
  5. Khandagirigumpha
  6. Dhyanagumpha
  7. Navamunigumpha
  8. Barabhujigumpha
  9. Trusulagumpha
  10. Ambikagumpha
  11. Lalatendukesarigumpha
  12. Unnamed
  13. Unnamed
  14. Ekadasigumpha
  15. Unnamed

The above nomenclature, however has no historical significances but accepted at present for the convenience of scholars and general readers. The art of Udayagiri and Khandagiri being almost contemporaneous with that of Sanchi, marks a striking resemblance with it but at he same time retains its own individuality and advance technique.

See also


  • Sachin Singhal: Orissa tourist road guide and political, Vardhman Publications, ISBN 81-8080-011-3
  • Sadananda Agrawal: Sri Kharavela, Published by Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, 2000.

External links

or: ta: , hi:

Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article

Search for Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Tutorials
Search for Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Encyclopedia
Search for Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Videos
Search for Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Books
Search for Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Software
Search for Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in DVDs
Search for Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Store


Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Encyclopedia
Udayagiri_and_Khandagiri_Caves top Udayagiri_and_Khandagiri_Caves

Home - Add TutorGig to Your Site - Disclaimer

©2011-2013 All Rights Reserved. Privacy Statement