Some trips are not planned, they just happen. That’s how I landed in Undavalli Caves. Having not heard of it till I landed in Vijaywada, I was super excited to explore this one. Undavalli Caves is 12 km from this city in Andhra Pradesh. And as I keep saying in my Instagram feed (follow me!), this year looks like the year of caves for me.
Quick info about Undavalli Caves:
Distance from Vijayawada: 12 km
Mode of transport: Best to go by own transport or by hired vehicles
Entry: Rs. 15 & did not have to pay for my camera
Timings: 0900-1730 hrs Mon-Sun
When I first saw the Undavalli Caves, it reminded me of the Kailash temple we had visited in Ellora Caves in Aurangabad. Are you wondering why? Undavalli and the Kailash temple are monolithic – meaning a single rock was cut with ancient tools to create magnificent structures. While Kailash temple was exhilarating (to say the least), Undavalli was cute. Yes, cute 🙂
Every time I visit some thing like this, a sense of pride sets in. Such intricate art work so beautifully executed that stands strong even today is a feat. To explore and walk around it transforms you to another world altogether.
When I read about this place, I heard for the first time a term – Vishwakarma Sthapathis. Viswakarma is the lord of creativity and Sthapathi is an architect and Undavalli is a testament to the skills and architectural intelligence the builders/sculptures or simply put – the sthapathis had.
Gupta and Chalukyan architecture is the art form one can experience inside the caves. Undavalli caves was discovered some time between 420-620 AD. This cave has housed people of several backgrounds, including Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Some of the art work inside show that they have stayed here at different points of time.
One of the biggest highlights in Undavalli is the huge Vishnu structure in the second floor. The sthapathis have constructed this from a single piece of granite as well and to think of what our ancestors have created those days – goosebumps!
If you are travelling to Guntur – Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh, don’t miss to pay a visit to this four storied rock cut structure. Also, the view from the top is beautiful 🙂
No place is too small or less beautiful. Just go!