Journey to the mountain of sunrise – Udayagiri caves, Bhopal

From the Taj-ul-Masjid, we had headed towards the Udayagiri caves, Bhopal which was ten kms away from the Vidisha town. So to complete my trip in Bhopal I had made my mind to visit this magnificent cave. It was a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Those caves were the perfect examples of classical Gupta arts. They were carved out in the 4th or 5th century under Chandragupta II of the Gupta empires. Along with Sanchi, it was always recommended to visit Udayagiri. I had hired a car as there were no other means of transportation apart from auto or private vehicles from Sanchi or Vidisha. The auto ride was not that pleasant as the roads were filled with potholes and garbages. The local caretaker took me to the intriguing caves. Udayagiri was also known as the mountain of sunrise and the caves remained open from 10 am to 6 pm.

udayagiri caves bhopal

Udayagiri Caves Bhopal | Image Resource : ravenshawihc.org.in/indian_history_congress.php

The local caretaker who was my guide had charged 100 rupees and he was very knowledgeable about the 20 caves. I had a feeling that maybe I was meeting someone who was from the Gupta era only. To my surprise all the caves were not maintained well and I felt that the higher authorities should seriously take some measure to conserve that heritage site. The vandalism that the tourists made in the caves by carving their mortal names on these immortal stones disappointed me. A few of the caves were closed for maintenance issues.

The most remarkable was the Narasimha sculpture which was gigantic but due to the railings, I couldn’t take the perfect pictures. Only the caves 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 13 were shown to the tourists. The most unique feature and the specialty of Udayagiri caves, Bhopal could be seen in the cave 8. There was a passage which consisted of a cleft in the rock or a canyon which was the eye catcher. The oldest recorded Ganesha figurine was in cave number 6. The caretaker told that it would atleast take one whole week to discover the beauty of theses caves. I was very delighted after hearing the historic tales about the Gupta dynasty and I felt that the pages of history was coming alive.

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