Undavalli Caves are the finest specimen of India’s rock-cut architectural heritage. They are located in the Guntur district of Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. These 4-story caves belong to the 4th century AD and it is believed to be constructed by the Vishnukundi rulers who ruled the region in this time period. Undavalli caves are situated approximately 10km away from Vijaywada. It is said that the caves were excavated in the 7th century and today are a major tourist attraction in Vijaywada.
One thing that sets the Undavalli caves apart is its monolithic rock-cut construction. These caves were formed out of a single rock mountain. As per the common belief, the caves are dedicated to Lord Narasimha, and Lord Anantha Padmanabha. The cave exhibits a major focus on Gupta architecture.
The very first level is situated at a very low height and features 7 openings and 8 pillars. The floor features structures similar to Jain abode, Tirthankara sculptures, and Jain viharas. Going up from here comes the idols of ‘Trideva’: Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. Above this lies a reclining statue of Lord Vishnu with a serpent and Lord Garuda on the sides. The next floor has beautiful sculptures of lions and elephants.
Undavalli caves are not just the finest piece of architecture, but also a structure that witnessed the integration of different religions. Legends have it that these caves were crafted to be Jain caves initially and later Hindu architecture was integrated into the caves in the form of idols of the Hindu gods and they were used by Buddhists as rest houses.
Beautiful and edgy Jain sculptures say a lot more about the history of this place. Get yourself involved in this mystic place where the Jain religion comes to life in the form of ancient Jain viharas.
Apart from Jain sculptures, you will also notice some of the finest works of Buddhist sculptures to know the expansion of Buddhism. Reports and the structure claim that Buddhist monks whom we know as Bhikkhus stayed in these caves for a very significant period and left their footmark in the form of Buddhist structures.
3. The Monolithic Architecture
The entire cave is carved with rock-cut architecture that gives proof of the monolithic era. The Undavalli caves has been made from a single rock hill range.
The Undavalli Cave is situated near Bhavani Island where you can enjoy a whole lot of activities right from boat riding to Jet Skiing. So if you visit Undavalli caves make sure to take time out to enjoy the serene and calm ambiance of the place while boating.
While you are visiting the cave, you cannot ignore the lush greenery that surrounds the cave. The endless view is mesmerizing and you will never have enough of it! The backdrop in which the cave is set is so calming and magnetic that it's a treat for eyes and soul.
Undavalli caves are located opposite the Krishna river. From the 4th story of the cave, one can admire the beauty of the calmly flowing river.
Though the city is counted as an urban settlement yet it has a lot of natural and ancient treasures in the form of monuments, temples, caves, and forts that makes it a popular destination for travellers. You too can witness these popular destinations by arriving in the city via airways, railways, and roadways. Here we have mentioned some economical travel options that you may consider if arriving from prominent or nearby cities and states.
Undavalli caves can easily be reached by local modes of transport such as buses, taxis, etc. In case you are in a mood to plan a trip by car to the intriguing caves then the following information will be of great use for you. Undavalli caves are approx. 1,800, 1,000, 1,200, and 700 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Listed below is the estimate of distance in kilometres and the best route to take if arriving from nearby places.
The nearest railway station is the Vijayawada Railway Station from where you can get on a local bus or a taxi to reach the Undavalli Caves. One has to travel a distance of approximately 10km to reach these magnificent caves. Vijayawada railway station receives frequent trains from all the metro cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, and Bengaluru and listed below are some popular and frequent direct trains that you may consider for travelling to Undavalli Caves.
Vijayawada International Airport is the nearest airport to Undavalli caves. The airport gets regular and frequent direct as well as connecting flights from all the major metro cities of India. Listed below is the list of airlines that operate direct flights to Vijaywada.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here