Udayagiri Caves

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Udayagiri caves are archaeological caves near Vidisha, carved when the city was a provincial capital of the Gupta Empire (4th- 5th century AD). The site is near present Vidisha in Vidisha district, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, and under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India and is of utmost importance for the history of India and the Gupta empire. Udayagiri consists of a substantial U-shaped plateau immediately next to the River Bes. Located a short distance from the earthen ramparts of ancient Besnagar, Udayagiri is about 4 km from the modern town of Vidisha and about 13 km from the Buddhist site of Sanchi.A. Ghosh, An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology, 2 vols. New Delhi, 1989: s.v. Besnagar. Udayagiri is best known for a series of rock-cut sanctuaries and images excavated into hillside in the early years of the fifth century CE. The most famous sculpture is the monumental figure of Viṣṇu in his incarnation as the boar-headed Varaha. The site has important inscriptions of the Gupta dynasty belonging to the reigns of Chandragupta I (c. 375-415) and Kumaragupta I (c. 415-55).The inscriptions are dealt with in J. F. Fleet, Inscriptions of the Early Gupta Kings and their Successors, Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, vol. 3 (Calcutta, 1888), hereinafter CII 3 (1888). Some of the records are re-edited, often with mischievous results, in the revised edition, D. R. Bhandarkar et al, Inscriptions of the......
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