Undavalli Caves Vijayawada
About Undavalli Caves
The Undavalli Caves, a monolithic example of Indian rock-cut architecture and one of the finest testimonials to ancient viswakarma sthapathis, are located in Undavalli of Guntur district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The caves are located 6 km south west from Vijayawada, 22 km north east of Guntur City of Andhra Pradesh.
These caves were carved out of solid sandstone on a hillside in the 4th to 5th centuries A.D. There are several caves and the best known largest one has four stories with a huge recreated statue of Vishnu in a reclining posture, sculpted from a single block of granite inside the second floor. Undavalli caves are an example of how many Buddhist artifacts and stupas in Andhra were converted into Hindu temples and deities. It was originally a Jain cave resembling the architecture of Udayagiri and Khandgiri. The main cave is one of the earliest examples of Gupta architecture, primarily primitive rock-cut monastery cells carved into the sandstone hills. Initially the caves were shaped as a Jain abode and the first floor abode still retains the Jain style; the vihara exhibits Jain monastics and includes tirthankara sculptures. This first level of the cave is a carved vihara and includes Buddhist art work. The site served as the Bhikkhu monastic complex during ancient period.The walls of the caves display sculptures carved by skilled craftsmen.
The caves are surrounded by the green countryside. From the high hill above the cave overlooking the Krishna River many fine specimens of rock cut architecture can be seen.
By Rail:There are many railway stations in the state small and big, but the most important and major junction is Hyderabad railway station. It is very well connected to all the metropolitan cities and other parts of India.
By Road:The state of Andhra Pradesh has a boundary of other major and bigger states. Hence to reach the state by road is a very convenient thing to do. There are well maintained National Highways, where interstate and private bus services run on regular bases. One can also hire a cab or car and can drive down the state from the neighbouring states of Maharashtra or Madhya Pradesh.
- Haritha resort.
- AP resort.
- ECO tourism resort.
It is divided into 3 levels. First one are basic caves. The second level has some sculptures. The final one has some very good architecture. The sleeping Vishnu is worth a look.There are also bats dwelling in the caves so be a bit cautious about it.