The Undavalli Caves, and example of Indian rock cut architecture are located in the village of Undavalli in Guntur District, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The caves are 6km south west of Vijayawada, 22km north west of Guntur City and about 280 km from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. The caves are associated with the Vishnukundina kings of 420 to 620 A.D. They are dedicated to Anantapadmanabha Swamy and Narisimha Swamy.
These caves are tourist attractions due to its excellent specimens of cut-in architectural and sculptural models. It is believed that Buddhist saints used these caves as a rest house during the monsoon
These four stories caves are said to be found in the 7th century. They are associated with the Vishnukundin Kings of AD 420 – 620. These exotic caves of Undavalli were dedicated to the Anantapadmanabha and Narisimhaswami. According to the historical evidences Madhava Reddy who ruled this region as the subordinate under the Reddies of Kondaveedu gifted the caves to the temple of Anantha Swamy. It is also believed that these caves were used by the Buddhist monks as the rest houses. Some of the other shrines in the cave are dedicated to the Trimurti, Brahma and Shiva. These ancient Hindu cave temples holds the great importance among the Hindus in India.
Cave in its planning belongs to the earliest examples of Gupta architecture although several details in the second floor show the influence of Chalukyan architecture. First floor can be entered through one of 8 – 9 roughly shaped openings with massive square columns in between. Planning and style of sculptures in the first floor shows that this was Buddhist monastery – vihara. Part of chambers are primitive rock-cut monastery cells. Hall is not completed, it contains 8 columns. Here are three separate sanctuaries for Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu and Shivu, each with a pillared hall in front. Trimurti is important concept in Hindu religion – a triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, embodyment of cosmic functions of creation, maintenance and destruction.
Darshan in the evening will continue till 1930 hrs. Besides admiring the architectural beauty of the Undavalli caves tourists can explore the nearby area around the Undavalli caves. When you reach at the top of the cave you get the finest view of the agricultural environment. You can kill time picking alongside the Krishna river. You can also take the leisure walk along the river and enchant with the local people. You may find children playing in the fields barefooted and their mothers working hard in the fields. Tourists can even take the boat ride in the river enjoying the surrounding beauty. After that you can even have lunch with the local villagers in the fields.
Rail: Nearest Railway Station is Vijayawada It is 8 km away from undavalli caves.