Undavalli Caves are striking specimen of Indian rock-cut architecture. Built during the 4th-5th century, these caves are to be found in Undavalli village, about 32 km from the Guntur city of Andhra Pradesh. Their structure suggests that they have been erected out of solid rock on a hillside. Dedicated to Anantapadmanabha Swamy and Narisimha Swamy, Undavalli Cave Temples are associated with the Vishnukundina kings. Its impressive façade lengthens to 29 meters and widens to 16 meters.
The amazing four-storey edifice looks marvelous amidst lush green
countryside. Though the caves comprise basically of temples, the
architecture appears to be imbibed from Buddhist monasteries. To enter
the ground floor, either one of the seven entrance doors on façade
that would take you to an uncompleted low pillared hall having 8
columns. On the first storey, the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh
is depicted through three different shrines, each having pillared hall
in the front.
The walls are adorned with murals, depicting scenes from the
mythological stories. Anantasayi (Vishnu reclining on serpent couch) is
the remarkable figurine of 5 meters, which festoons the second storey of
the Undavalli Caves Temples. The studies reveal that sculptures of both
Shiva and Vaishnava must have been added later. Even the architecture at
the top floor suggests that it was proposed for a triple shrine.
This fragmentary temple has some of the sculptural specimens, which are
recognized with the Chalukyan style of architecture. The sculptures
represent the dexterity of the skilled artisans of the ancient times. To
have a glimpse of the frescos, murals and artistic sculptures, you are
required to take a candle or torch, since the place doesn't have
electricity. A visit to Undavalli caves would definitely be an
interesting expedition for anyone visiting Guntur.