Also known as Cuttack caves, Khandagiri Caves are artificial caves located in the state of Orissa which date back to 2nd century. This place is quite a sight to see with all the beautifully carved inscriptions and figures. This place holds a great historical significance. A large number of ancient temples with intricate carvings surround this place which have their own significance. If you want to relax and spend some quiet time amidst nature, a number of lush green parks are also located around Khandagiri Caves.
It is believed that the Khandagiri caves were dug during the rule of the great emperor of the Mahameghavahana Dynasty, King Kharavela. These caves are believed to be built by Jain and Buddhist monks who used these caves as a place to pray and meditate.
Flora and Fauna
Apart from temples and historical sites, this place is also replete with flora and fauna. Animals such as elephants, wild boars, hyena, panther, jackal, fox and bears can be seen. This place is also home to colourful birds including peacocks, Indian Cuckoo, Kingfisher and Indian tree pie. Snakes and lizards are also common inhabitants of this place.
Nearby Places to See
1. Chausathi Jogini Temple
Located at a mere distance of a km, Chausathi Jogini Temple was built in the 9th Century by Queen Hiradevi of Bramha Dynasty. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple is built in a circular form with 56 small idols placed in each cavity. The architecture of this temple is splendid with small patches filled with greenery and trees. This place is a must visit to experience serenity and calmness.
2. Kedareshwar Temple
Kedareshwar Temple is situated at a distance of less than a kilometre from Khandagiri Caves. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple was built in 12th century by the king of Ganga Dynasty and is beautifully constructed. Myth has it that two lovers named Kedar and Gauri ran away from their homes as their parents did not wanted them to marry. The stayed in the forest and one day Gauri felt hungry. Kedar went to search for food but on his way was killed by the tiger. After listening about the death of Kedar, Gouri jumped into a pond. Therefore this temple is visited by a lot newly married couples to seek blessings. Don't worry, even if you are unmarried you can visit this temple to seek blessings and enjoy the pristine aura.
3. Swarnajaleswar Temple
Located at a and distance of 1 km from Khandagiri Caves, Swarnajaleswar Temple is visited by a lot of people who come to pray and seek blessings. This Temple has rich historical significance and is beautifully built with grand architecture. This temple is a must visit if you want to spend a quiet evening relaxing and enjoying the piousness of the place.
4. ISKCON Temple
ISKCON temple is located at distance of 3 kilometres from Khandagiri Caves. Built in 1991 this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. This Temple also houses idols of Jagannath Balaram and Subhadra. People visit this temple in large numbers to see blessings and witness the grandeur of this place. The the tasty Prasad that is prepared and given to devotees is an added bonus and should not be missed.
5. Chandaka Dampada Wildlife Sanctuary
At a mere distance of a kilometre from Khandagiri caves lies a small place abundant with flora and fauna. Chandaka Dampada Wildlife Sanctuary is most popular for elephants that can be spotted easily roaming around. A lot of colourful birds including peacocks, Indian Cuckoo, Kingfisher, Indian Tree pie and many more can be spotted fluttering their wings. Apart from elephants you can also spot deers, sloth bear, fox, jackal, porcupine and Panthers. This wildlife sanctuary is open from 6am and has to be vacated by 5pm so make sure you reach on time. Elephant Safari rides are also available in the sanctuary that will help you to explore the place fully. The entry fee for the place is just Rs. 40. There are also bamboo huts located inside the sanctuary where you can stay and enjoy being amidst wilderness.
6. Jayadev Vatika
Jayadev Vatika is located at a distance of a kilometre from Khandagiri Caves. This place is a good picnic spot and is surrounded by verdant trees. Colourful flowers blossom in this park and you can hear the chirping of the birds perched in the trees. This place is ideal to spend some quality time with your loved ones and relax.
7. Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts
This beautiful Museum is located at a distance of around two kilometres from Khandagiri Caves. Museum of tribal arts and artifacts will give you a glimpse into the interesting lives of tribal people. The entry is free for everyone and you will be able to see artifacts like dresses, hunting gear, fishing tools and agricultural tools and accessories are showcased in this museum which once belonged to the tribals. You can even buy the beautifully handcrafted products made by tribal to take them home as souvenirs. You can visit the museum anytime between 10am to 5pm except on Mondays as the museum is closed on Monday.
8. Mukteswara Temple
Mukteswara temple is located at a distance of around 7 km from Khandagiri Caves. This place is popular among people interested in history and architecture. This temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Orissa. The temple is beautifully built with a lot of intricate carvings and sculptures. This temple is dedicated to Lord shiva and a lot of devotees of Lord Shiva visits temple to seek blessings. This temple is a must visit because of the beautiful carvings that depict the Hindu mythology.
9. Ram Mandir
Located at a distance of around 6 km from Khandagiri Caves, Ram Mandir is a beautifully built temple dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple provides peaceful aura that will rejuvenate your soul. The beautiful idols of Lord Rama Laxman and Sita that are placed in the temple will fill your heart with happiness. Visit this temple in the morning and take part in the Puja that is held in the temple.
10. Lingaraja Temple
Lingaraja Temple is located at the distance of around 6 kilometres from Khandagiri Caves. This temple is beautifully constructed with many small temples dedicated to a lot of God and Goddesses. This temple is believed to be at least million years old and is believed to have came into existence by itself. Every afternoon Prasad is served in this temple which is very tasty and should not be missed. Visit this pristine place to purge your soul.
11. Dhauli Giri Hills
Located at a distance of around 5 km, Dhauli Giri Hills is the resting place of the great King Ashoka who after fighting the battle of Kalinga and seeing all the bloodshed realised how is insignificant battles were. This place houses a Shanti Stupa which was built in 1969 by Japanese people. As the name suggest the Shanti Stupa is very peaceful and relaxing. This place also houses a lot of Pristine statues of Lord Buddha that adds to the beauty of this place. This place also provides a view of the picturesque? beauty of the whole city.
12. Odisha State? Museum
Around 6 kilometres away from Khandagiri Caves, Odisha State Museum is a must visit place to get a glimpse into the history of this state. The Museum houses a lot of old stone sculptures, manuscripts, paintings and photographs that are exhibited for the people to see and be amazed by their beauty. Museum also has a large section on weapons and coins that were once used in this state. A light and sound show is also held here in the evening which is a must see.
13. Rajarani Temple
Rajarani Temple is located at a distance of 9 km from Khandagiri Caves and was built in the 11th century. The temple has a lot of beautifully built sculptures which show different events of the Hindu mythology like the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati. There are a lot of mesmerizing sculptures of Nymphs and dancing women that are a sight to see. The entry fees is only Rs. 15 and once inside you can even spend some quiet time amidst the green trees and relax.
14. Ashokan Rock Edict
Ashokan Rock Edict is a place which was founded by the great king Ashoka after the battle of Kalinga. This place is famous for the inscriptions that have been carved on a huge piece of rock. The inscriptions are written in an ancient language but English translations are available for them through which you will be able to get an insight into the history. This pace is well maintained and is a must visit.
15. Ratnagiri Buddhist Excavation
Located at a distance of 9 km from Khandagiri Caves, Ratnagiri Buddhist excavation is an excavation site which is famous for the architecture and sculptures of Lord Buddha. This place houses a lot of old sculptures dating as back as the 5th century. This place also house is a Museum that is famous for showcasing the various ancient artifacts and sculptures. The museum is closed on Friday.
16. Biju Patnaik Park
Named after a great leader of Orissa, Biju Patnaik Park is located at a distance of around 5 km from Khandagiri Caves. This pack is replete with verdant in trees and small plants full of blossoming colourful flowers. A spectacle of musical fountain can we enjoyed hair which is very popular. You can even indulge in boating to spend some quiet time in the lap of nature. This place is perfect to relax for some moments and refresh your mind, body and soul.
17. Brahmeshwara Temple
Brahmeswara temple is an ancient Temple located 7 km away from Khandagiri Caves. This temple was built in the 11th century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Beautiful sculptures of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva in ferocious forms are situated in this temple. This temple is visited by a lot of people who come here to witness the grandness of this place and be amazed by the beautiful sculptures that are carved on its walls.
18. Ekamra Kanan
Ekamra Kanan is the lush Green Park located at a distance of around 5 kilometres from Khandagiri Caves. This park is popular not only amongst travelers but also the local people. The park is well maintain and features a lot of verdant trees with blooming flowers. This park also houses a lot of quaint shops which sell tribal paintings that are beautifully painted and can be taken home as souvenirs. Visit this beautiful park to spend some time away from the Hustle bustle of the city.
19. Vaital Deul Temple
Vaital Deul Temple is located at a distance of 6 kilometres from Khandagiri Caves. This is one of the oldest temple in Bhubaneswar and is believed to be built in the 8th century. It is dedicated to goddess Chamunda and houses a lot of beautiful and intricate sculptures. Pay this temple a visit not only to seek blessings but also to witness the splendid architecture.
20. Parsurameswar Temple
Parsurameswar Temple is located at a distance of 6 kilometres from Khandagiri Caves. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is among the oldest temples in Orissa. This temple is believed to be built in the 7th century and as a lot of beautiful carvings of flowers, divine figures and animals. A lot of people visit this place to seek blessings and rest in the lush green park that is adjoining the temple. This place is perfect to rest and enjoy solitude.
Things to Do
There are a lot of parks located near Khandagiri caves which are idle for boating. Take some time out on your trip to pedal in the serene waters and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place.
You can indulge in an elephant ride and explore the Chandaka Dampada Wildlife Sanctuary. The safari ride would totally be worth the money and will let you enjoy your experience in the sanctuary to the fullest.
A lot of travel companies provide a guided tour of the Khandagiri Caves that will help you learn more about the history of this place. The guides will let you know about the significance of the sculptures and carvings located in the caves. A guided tour will help you relish this place to the fullest.
Khandagiri Caves is a beautiful place to if you wish to travel back in time and enjoy the beautifully carved sculptures and caves that were man made. This place is also full of ancient temples that provide a glimpse into the rich architecture of the past. This place is perfect to getaway from the hustle bustle of the city and spend some time with historical sites.
The best time to visit Khandagiri caves is between the months of November and March. Since Bhubaneswar is very hot in summers this months are pleasant enough for you to roam around without feeling the heat.
How to Reach Khandagiri Caves
By Air: The closest airport to Khandagiri caves is Bhubaneswar airport which is well connected with all the major cities in India. It is located at a distance of 10 km. Rental cars are easily available from the airport that will take you to Khandagiri Caves. By Rail: The nearest railway station to Khandagiri caves is Bhubaneswar Railway Station which is located at a mere distance of 6km. Rental cars are easily available from the railway station that will drop you off to your desired location. By Road: The distance between Khandagiri caves from Bhubaneswar is around 10 km which can be covered easily by renting a car or a taxi. Buses also run in regular intervals from Bhubaneswar that will take you to Khandagiri Caves.