Undavalli Caves

Guntur District

Andhra Pradesh

Introduction

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Blueprint of Undavalli Caves

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1 - Ground Floor

The ground floor though incomplete is planned out to be a mandapa of massive ...

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2 - First Storey

It has four separate mandapam shrines. The first mandapam shrine, at the east...

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3 - Second Storey

The second storey has the shrine of Anantasayana, which has its main cella sc...

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4 - Third Storey

The topmost storey is incomplete and comprises a projecting wall face divided...

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How to get there
Location

Undavalli Caves are a monolithic example of Indian rock-cut architecture and are famous throughout the country. Undavalli Caves were carved out of solid sandstone on a hillside and they serve as one of the finest testimonials to the Vishwakarma sthapathis(temple architects and builders) leaving you in wonderment and pride about India’s advanced culture during the ancient and medieval times. These caves are under the maintenance of Archaeological Survey of India.

Located to the east of the Undavalli village on the right bank of river Krishna, 5 km southwest of Vijayawada on the Vijayawada-Guntur highway. 

How to Reach

The caves are located 6 km south west from Vijayawada (7km from Vijayawada Railway Station), 22 km north east of Guntur City and about 280 km from Hyderabad, Telangana.

 

Best time to visit

Visiting hours: 9 am to 5.30 pm. Admission fee: Indians & persons of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries - Rs. 5/- , for Foreigners Rs. 100/- and free for children of 15 years age and below.

Amenities

Vijayawada is the nearest place where there are number of hotels are available to stay. 

Travel tips

There are several state-run buses to reach Vijayawada and Guntur. You can take local transport or private buses to reach Undavalli Caves from Vijayawada or Guntur. Vijayawada is the nearest railway station & Airport to Undavalli Caves.

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Amaralingeswara Temple

Amaralingeswara Swamy temple is located in Amararama which is one of the Pancharama Kshetras which is located at Amaravathi town in state of Andhra Pradesh. Amareswara Swamy or Amaralingeswara Swamy refers to Lord Shiva in this temple. The temple is situated on the southern bank of Krishna River. The consort of Lord Amareswara Swamy is Bala Chamundika.The Sivalinga at this place is installed and established by Lord Indra.

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Sri Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple Mangalagiri

Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple

The temple of Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy is situated on the hill here. This temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha(man-lion) and is situated on a hillock at Mangalagiri. Devotees pour "Panakam" (Jaggery water) with a conch into the mouth of the deity. The unique feature of this temple is that the idol actually drinks the panakam and a gurgling sound is heard. However only half is accepted and the remaining half is given back, irrespective of the quantity offered. An annual festival is held in the months of August and September. This temple has the credit of being one of the eight chief holy temples (Mahakshetrams) in India. The hillock holds at its foot another temple of Lakshmi Narasimha.

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Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam Vijayawada

Kanaka Durgamma temple, Vijayawada

Kanaka Durga Temple is a famous hindu Temple of Goddess Durga located in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The temple is located on the Indrakeeladri hill, on the banks of Krishna River. Kaalika puraana, Durgaa sapthashati and other vedic literature have mentioned about Goddess Kanaka Durga on the Indrakeelaadri and have described the deity as Swayambhu, (self-manifested) in Triteeya kalpa.

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Featured Historical & Mythological Stories
Articles

How Undavalli caves are con...

Undavalli caves before converted into Hindu temples, Buddhist monks used these caves as Buddhist Bhikkhu.

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ABOUT US

Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is a state government agency which promotes tourism in Andhra Pradesh, India. APTDC offers tour packages of Heritage, Nature, Adventure, Health and Rural tourism representing rich historical and natural background of Andhra Pradesh state.

Phone: 0866-2555524/0866-2555525

© 2019 AP Tourism Authority Powered by InRootz

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Undavalli Caves are a monolithic example of Indian rock-cut architecture and are famous throughout the country. Undavalli Caves were carved out of solid sandstone on a hillside and they serve as one of the finest testimonials to the Vishwakarma sthapathis(temple architects and builders) leaving you in wonderment and pride about India’s advanced culture during the ancient and medieval times. These caves are under the maintenance of Archaeological Survey of India.

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Located to the east of the Undavalli village on the right bank of river Krishna, 5 km southwest of Vijayawada on the Vijayawada-Guntur highway. 

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The caves are located 6 km south west from Vijayawada (7km from Vijayawada Railway Station), 22 km north east of Guntur City and about 280 km from Hyderabad, Telangana.

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Visiting hours: 9 am to 5.30 pm. Admission fee: Indians & persons of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries - Rs. 5/- , for Foreigners Rs. 100/- and free for children of 15 years age and below.

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Guntur District

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Andhra Pradesh

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The earliest group of caves are dated to the early part of 6th - 7th century AD on stylistic grounds. But the label inscriptions in early archaic Telugu characters belonging to 10th century AD. Inscriptions of Machama Reddy, a Reddy Chief of Kondavidu (1343 AD) and those of the time of Sri Krishnadevaraya (AD 1520-29) speak of the continued patronage and sanctity attached ti caves for over several centuries. 

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These caves belong to the early Eastern Chalukyas and have similarities with those that are built by the Pallavas which normally have 1. front mandapam with a single garbhagriha (cellla), 2. heavy pliiars with square cross section, 3. dwarapalakas with horned headgear with one of their hand shown in vismaya mudra and 4. niches decorated with makara-toranas.  

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It is also believed that Buddhist monks used these caves as rest houses. First Vishnukundina kings were supporters of Buddhism and Undavalli Caves were started as Buddhist temples. For a while they were used by Buddhist monks and there have been preserved some Buddhist statues up to this day. Later though caves were taken over by Hindus and major part of artwork we see here today is related to Hindu religion. 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.

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There are several state-run buses to reach Vijayawada and Guntur. You can take local transport or private buses to reach Undavalli Caves from Vijayawada or Guntur. Vijayawada is the nearest railway station & Airport to Undavalli Caves.

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Undavalli Caves, by their sheer beauty of design and construction, speak volumes of the inconceivably advanced architectural skills of the ancient Viswakarma sthapathis (temple architects and builders) leaving you in wonderment and pride about India’s advanced culture during the ancient and medieval times. It is an Impressive Four storey rock cut temple with East facing facade of 29m long, 16m wide. There are variations in depth of each floor.

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Ground floor is an unfinished low pillared hall with 8 pillars and 7 door openings on façade.

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First floor accommodates triple shrine at back, each with pillared hall in front, originally dedicated to the Trinity (Siva, Vishnu and Brahma). Sculptures on the walls represents Vaishnava deities.

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Second storey has a pillared rectangular shrine of Lord Vishnu on a Serpent. Sculpture is made out of single block of granite. Over Vishnu there is a canopy of multi-hooded Adi-Shesha, king of all nagas, shrine is adorned with numerous other sculptures as well. Sculptures of Shiva and Vaishnava and a few like the Vaishnava Alwars are sculptured later on.

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Facade of the third floor is adorned with numerous sculptural spicemens, on stylistic were attributed to the Chalukyan period and including depictions of lions, elephants. There opens beautiful view through these ancient sculptures towards other green hills and stands of palms below.

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Vijayawada is the nearest place where there are number of hotels are available to stay. 

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The ground floor though incomplete is planned out to be a mandapa of massive square pillars with three bays deep and nine bays wide, but the western shrine chamber is slightly recessed into the rear wall. To access to the first storey is through a flight of steps at the eastern end of the ground floor.

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The ground floor though incomplete is planned out to be a mandapa of massive square pillars with three bays deep and nine bays wide, but the western shrine chamber is slightly recessed into the rear wall. To access to the first storey is through a flight of steps at the eastern end of the ground floor.

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It has four separate mandapam shrines. The first mandapam shrine, at the eastern end of the first storey, has an adhisthana having a flight of steps with a chandrasila at the base. It facade has two free standing pillars and two pilasters and the inner row has two free standing pillars and two pilasters. The back wall of mandapam has adhisthana moulding over which are two side niches and a central door frame with stambha-toronas. On the eastern wall of the front court is found a long inscription which states that Machama-Reddy, son of Anna Reddy, a local chief of Kondavidu Reddy dynasty, endowed certain lands of the performance of various kinds of worship in the temple of Anantasayana at Undavelli.

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It has four separate mandapam shrines. The first mandapam shrine, at the eastern end of the first storey, has an adhisthana having a flight of steps with a chandrasila at the base. It facade has two free standing pillars and two pilasters and the inner row has two free standing pillars and two pilasters. The back wall of mandapam has adhisthana moulding over which are two side niches and a central door frame with stambha-toronas. On the eastern wall of the front court is found a long inscription which states that Machama-Reddy, son of Anna Reddy, a local chief of Kondavidu Reddy dynasty, endowed certain lands of the performance of various kinds of worship in the temple of Anantasayana at Undavelli.

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The second mandapam shrine of the first storey has an adhisthana  with a flight of steps, over the facade of the mandapam is supported by four free standing pillars and two pilasters. Niches house figures of Brahma, a dwarapala, Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipa and Siva. In the southwest corner of the mandapam there is a small shrine of housing a figure of a seated Ganesha. 

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The third mandapam shrine on the front side has been provided at either end by an elephant head with suspended trunk (gajamunda). Decorated with stambha-toranas. These niches house a dvarapala each.

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The fourth and western mandapa inner bay is found a panel depicting Siva & Parvati in sukhasana on a pedestal are two attendants. On the face of pedestal is shown a gana and figures of mithunas. The door frame of which is flanked by two armed dwarapalas on either side.

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The second storey has the shrine of Anantasayana, which has its main cella scooped at the eastern end on the eastern wall with the mandapam lowered west axis. The mandapam is four bay deep and seven bays wide including the screen pilaster which is provided in the second row of pillars from the front at the top of the flight of steps at either end, both depicted with a two armed dvarapalas. On the western wall, scooped at a later period, is a shrine housing a sculpture of Hanuman. The back wall of mandapam has a series of small and oblong niches in which are carved relief figures of 14 Alwars and Vaikunthanatha Vishnu flanked by Sridevi and Bhudevi which are curved at a later period when Vaishnava affiliation of this temple had been well established.

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Southern end of the western wall of the mandapam is an Anantasayana panel which is elaborately depicted with Vishnu reclining on the eight coiled bed of Ananta providing a seven hooded canopy above the head of the god, who is lying with his right hand acutely flexed at the fore arm and placed near his ear and his left hand is near the hip of god and raised vertically.

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Surrounding the god, carved on the wall are the figures of Marakandeya maharshi at the bottom of the panel, above him Garuda flying in the air, Brahma seated on the padma that raises from the navel of the god, five figures representing the five ayudhas of Vishnu namely sankha, chakra, saranga, kaumodaki and nandaka sword of which kaumodaki who is a female is showing as flanking immediately to the lefy of Brahma. 

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Beyond these figures are shown two large sized figures of Madhu and Kaitabha holding gadha and dagger in their hands.

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The second storey has the shrine of Anantasayana, which has its main cella scooped at the eastern end on the eastern wall with the mandapam lowered west axis. The mandapam is four bay deep and seven bays wide including the screen pilaster which is provided in the second row of pillars from the front at the top of the flight of steps at either end, both depicted with a two armed dvarapalas. On the western wall, scooped at a later period, is a shrine housing a sculpture of Hanuman. The back wall of mandapam has a series of small and oblong niches in which are carved relief figures of 14 Alwars and Vaikunthanatha Vishnu flanked by Sridevi and Bhudevi which are curved at a later period when Vaishnava affiliation of this temple had been well established.

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The topmost storey is incomplete and comprises a projecting wall face divided into series of sections by pilasters and provided with two shrine cells on at the west end and other on the east, in a rather irregular arrangement. The facade shows the kapota (cornice) and a well backed prastara merging with the slope of the main hill above.

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The topmost storey is incomplete and comprises a projecting wall face divided into series of sections by pilasters and provided with two shrine cells on at the west end and other on the east, in a rather irregular arrangement. The facade shows the kapota (cornice) and a well backed prastara merging with the slope of the main hill above.

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There are also small caves on the southwestern slope also to the northeast above the hill, which are badly eroded due to soft nature of the rock.

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