Undavalli Cave Temples
The small village of Undavalli in Andhra Pradesh would have faded into insignificance but for the Undavalli Cave Temples that are located here. In this small hamlet of Undavalli which is located at a distance of just about 6 km from Vijaywada, an important commercial center of Andhra Pradesh, 22 km from Guntur city and 280 km from Hyderabad, the Cave temples are the foremost attractions to visitors. And understandably so because the Undavalli Cave Temples are one of the finest specimens of Indian rock cut architecture.
The Undavalli Cave Temples are found on a small hill that overlooks the Krishna River. The caves were excavated way back in the 4th and 5th centuries during the reign of the Vishnukundin kings and are dedicated to Ananta Padmanabha Swamy and Narisimha Swamy. It is believed that the Undavalli Cave Temples served as shelter to the Buddhist monks during the rainy season.
A chief characteristic of these caves is that they are four storied. What is sure to catch your attention foremost after your entry to the Undavalli Cave Temples is the statue of Lord Vishnu which is 5 m in length.
This colossal statue is seated in a reclining posture and most importantly is carved out of a singe block of granite.
Even though the statue of Lord Vishnu will leave you spell bound there are other sculptures as well within the Undavalli Cave Temples which are also quite impressive. There are many shrines in the Undavalli Cave Temples which are dedicated to Brahma and Shiva as well.
It is indeed a very thrilling experience to roam about the Undavalli Cave Temples and witness the rock carvings. What can be more adventurous than to enter the caves with a candle in hand and behold the marvelous statue that have stood the test of times. As there is no electricity, the cave is lit up only with the help of a candle. The other architectural and sculptural models in the Undavalli Cave Temples are no less impressive.
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