The Hill of The Rising Sun
Nestled between the foothills of two mountains ranges of the Eastern Ghats, Udaygiri is the biggest and most picturesque site of the triad.However, it is also the least excavated site amongst the triad and is often confused with the more prominent Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves of Bhubaneswar.
The excavations were first started in 1985 and carried on intermittently till 1990. Still a large part of the site remains to be excavated. The monastery divided into two parts-the Madhavpura Mahavihar and the Simhaprastha Mahavihar. The Madhavpura Mahavihar has a massive Mahastupa (Main Stupa) along with Chaitygriha’s (prayer hall), Votive Stupa’s (stupas erected on fulfillment of a wish), Commemorative Stupa’ (erected in memory of a monk with his relics).
The Simhaprastha Mahavihar houses the ruins of the monasteries and the meditation chambers and beautifully carved statues. The lion statue with the hill at the backdrop is a photographer’s delight along with that of Avalokitesvara.
The important aspect of this site is the fact that unlike Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri there are no sculptures or scriptures found so far at this site which link it to Vajrayana tantric cult.
What adds to the beauty of the place is the presence of beautiful native species of birds that flock the area in abundance, right from the entry point to the Mahavihar.
Below is a visual treat of Udaygiri. Enjoy the immersive experience and experience the 360 degree views and virtual tours which are soon going to enhance your visual journey!
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