After the morning walk, we felt our body and mind refreshed and rejuvenated. It was a different experience walking through woods enjoying the forest. The cool breeze and the sounds of monkeys and shrills of squirrels were captivating.
We walked down to get into the dam though it was bit tiring. But it was a great experience to stand in the chill water. We sat on the rocks for a while and came back to our hotel room because we had to travel to our next destination, which is the Undavalli Caves.
After the breakfast, we got into the bus to Guntur, which took around 3 hours to reach the Undavalli Caves. There are many buses available from the dam to the Undavalli Caves. The journey was comfortable and we reached the place at around 11 am.
The Undavalli Caves are the epitome of rock-cut architecture of India and the caves are situated in the Undavalli village in Tadepalli Mandal, which is in the Guntur District. The village is located on the banks of the Krishna River and we traveled about 22 km from Guntur to reach the caves.
The caves were constructed out of solid sandstone during the 4th and 5th centuries. We could see several caves and the largest cave is a well-known one and has four stories. The statue of Lord Vishnu is carved in single granite stone and is the main deity. Lord Vishnu is carved in his inclined position on the second floor.
Other shrines are dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The caves showcase the architecture and skills of earliest Gupta architecture. The rock-cut monastery cells are carved on the sandstone hills. Since the caves were shaped in to a Buddhist religious residence, the first floor showcases the Buddhist Vihar and Buddhist sculptures. The walls are carved with beautiful sculptures.
The Undavalli caves were built by the Vishnukundina kings of 420 to 620 A.D. We also visited the Anantapadmanabha Swamy and Narasimha Swamy temples. The caves are surrounded by greenery of the countryside. The cave on the hilltop is overlooking the Krishna River holding the specimens of Hindu rock-cut architecture.