Udaigiri is an important Buddhist pilgrimage in the state of Orissa,
special due to its caves, which house some of the most antique and
architecturally important sculptures of Buddhist origins. Not very far from
Bhubaneswar, the place was a flourishing learning centre of Buddhism, and
still represents its rich history through the ruins of the ancient
monasteries, stupas and other Buddhist items found in the place. Besides,
this place is also considered holy by the Jains.
Archaeological excavations : The archaeological
excavations have been successful in discovering some important Buddhist
items such as the huge brick monastery, housing many ancient Buddhist
sculptures. The recently found huge monastery has been a matter of
discussion for the Buddhist pilgrims around the world.
The main sculptures of Udaigiri that has been excavated include some Buddha
sculptures in the meditating position while some Bodhisattva figures has
also been found.
The hill behind the excavated places serves as perfect background and makes
the site more interesting. The hill is full of inscriptions and rock cut
sculptures which, also attracts lots of tourists.
The city is in the 20 km to the Northeast of Cuttack and is 100 km from
The ancient city is full of ruins of the Buddhist origin, some of them
sculptured out of hilly rocks, is still to be revealed fully to the tourists
since excavations are not completed. However, the presence of the biggest
Buddhist complex, which is unusually made of brick, makes the place an
interesting place both for archaeologists and pilgrims.
Cave 1 is known as Rani Gumpha and houses some beautiful sculptures of
elephants, monkeys, aword fights and abduction of women, all of which are
linked with King Kharvela. Though not very important, the sculptures
represent rich artistic expressions and good dose to the history lovers.
Though some of the caves are completely in ruins, cave 3 and 4 serve well
to the tourists for its majestic sculptures and architectural simplicity.
These are , interestingly, double storeyed and house some beautiful
sculptures such as that of a lion and its prey, elephants with snakes around
them, and some unusual winged animals on top of some pillars.
Ratnagiri is another tourist destination near
Udaigiri, especially for the Buddhist pilgrims as the place has been found
to have connections with Lord Buddha and some of his famous disciples.
Famous for it's two monasteries, which belong to 6th and 12th century. The
large carvings of Buddha, big stupas and other ancient sculptures are also
worth a visit.
Formerly the capital of Orissa, presently the
commercial capital, Cuttack is the birthplace of Netaji and a recently
popularized city in the international map of tourism. The city has many good
temples and some really good shopping destinations for the shopping -freaks.
The places to visit include the stone revetment in the bank of Mahanadi,
Barabati fort, Qadam-e-rasool, Dhavaleshwar, etc.
Kendra para :
The famous Baldev Jeu temple, the city is
also known as Tulsi Khshetra. The "Rath-Yatra" passes through this
city, and is a great occasion to be here, to see the fanfare and the charm
of India, in Orissa.
Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, is the nearest
well connected to the cities such as Bhubaneswar
etc through the road network. However, private taxis are more favourable
than the buses.
Where to stay :
The base could be either Cuttack or Bhubaneswar. In Cuttack one can stay at
Hotel Akbari Continental (3 star), while in Bhubaneswar well known hotels
include the Trident and the Oberois.
: Hotel Akbari Continental, Dolmundai, Cuttack-753001, Orissa, India
: CB-1 Nayapali,bhubaneshwar, ORISSA-751013
: N - 1/3, Nayapalli,Bhubaneshwar- 751013, Orissa.
Access : 01 kilometer from Airport, 01 Kilometer from Railway
Station,1km. from Bus Stand.
N.B- There is
another place with the same name in Madhya Pradesh, more famous for Hindu
and Jain architectures.