My group was ecstatic to visit our next destination which was the Undavalli Caves Vijayawada. These caves are to be found in the Undavalli village of Guntur district and falls in the state of Andhra Pradesh. These caves are present at height of 8km and are at a distance of 32km from Guntur and around 280km from Hyderabad. The Undavalli Caves Vijayawada fall at the highest point of the hills those face River Krishna.
History associates the Undavalli caves to Vishnukundina kings in the era of 420A.D – 620A.D. These caves also have a history of being dedicated to the Anantapadmanabha Swamy and Swamy Narisimha.
Carved out of solid sandstone there are 4 caves present on the hill in the vicinity of each other. The largest and well known of the four is the one with an enormous statue of Lord Vishnu resting in a reclined posture. This sculpture is carved out of a single block slab of granite and placed on the second floor. The other three caves belong to different deities such as Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
The central cave exhibits the influence of Gupta architecture shaped in a Buddhist monastery. The first floor also includes some Buddhist vihara and Buddhist sculptures. The carved walls of the caves also exhibit some sculptures carved by the skilled craftsmen of old times.
We climbed up to the highest point of the hilltop and marvelled at the Undavalli Caves Vijayawada that seemed that a living example of the rich Hindu architecture. The hilltop was surrounded by green pastures and the view of the countryside looked amazing. I stood there for some time and let the hair play with my hair as I dwelled in the presence of history. We sat on the green pastures talking nothing to each other but looking at the clean blue skies until stomach starting ringing the bell of hunger. We left the place to explore the nearby market and so we decide to eat at a local restaurant to experience the taste of the city of Vijayawada, a city that never disappoints its tourists at all.