The Udayagiri and the Khandagiri caves are located a distance of 6 kms from the centre of the city. The caves are basically two hills which have rock cut shelters. Many of the caves are considered to be very old as they seem to be as old as they are from the 1st century, and are believed to be part of the Jain era and are beautifully ornamented. The caves towards the Sunrise Hill, located on the northern side are more fascinating caves. Upon ascending from the ramp you will see the “Swargapuri” cave which is located to the right side and has a lot of devotional figures on display.
The “Hathi Gumpha” cave is yet another cave, this is quite plain on top as compared to the other caves, and however this one has an interesting 117-line inscription, which quite relates to the exploitation of the King Kharavela of Kalinga, who ruled from 168 to 153 BC, who build these caves. Upon climbing to the left hand you will notice the Tiger cave, or the “Bagh Gumpha”. The reason its known as the Tiger caves, because the entrance to this cave looks like the mouth of the Tiger. The “Pavana Gumpha” , the Cave of Purification and the small “Sarpa Gumpha”, the Serpent Cave, here a small door is surmounted by a three-headed cobra. Towards the peak you will notice that it looks like the remains of a self protective position. Once you start descending towards the southeast, you will reach the to the single-storey elephant-guarded Ganesh Gumpha , which is the 10th cave. Right above is the two storeyed Rani ka Naur, which is the Queen’s Palace Cave and this is the 1st cave.
The Queen’s cave is believed to be the largest and one of the most interesting out of all the caves as this one is beautifully carved with battle scenes and Jain symbols. On continuing moving towards the back of the entrance, you will see the Chota Hathi Gumpha , which is the 3rd cave. There are amazing carvings of elephants, and via the Hathi Gumpha you reach the double-storey Jaya Vijaya Cave, the 5th cave, which even has a Bodhi tree carved out in the central compartment.
Right across the road the Khandagiri offers a splendid view of the city of Bhubneswar. From here once can visit the 3rd cave which is the Ananta cave, through a steep path, which splits about one-third of the way up the hill. There are beautiful carvings of women, men, athletes, elephants and geese carrying flowers. If you go further along the path then you will get to see many Jain temples which are quite old, and these go back to the 19th century.