In the olden times, Orissa was known as 'Utkal', implying 'utkarsh in kala', i.e., phenomenal in the arts. Jainism stands as one of the antiquated religions of India. It has a prodigious contribution in the field of architecture. The 'Utkal Desha' stands as a testimony to the noteworthy innovative power of Jain sculptural art, carved in the walls of the rocks of the hills of Udaygiri and Khandagiri, also known as Kumariparvat, situated in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. In this walk, we will understand how the colossal caves were constructed, and learn about the Jain legends, folklore, society and the iconography depicted on the eighteen rock-cut caves. We will understand how a Chedi prince, king Kharavela, arrived from the north, battled, conquered and annexed the region, and how he became 'Kalingadhipati', i.e., 'lord of Kalinga'. This walk will include the decipheration and transcription of the 17-line Kharavela inscription in the Brahmi script, found in the fourteenth cave, Hanthigumpha, The Brahmi script is the earliest writing system developed in ancient India after the Indus script.
This guided tour is free.