The bustling city of Vijayawada offers several interesting sights spanning nature, history, religion and culture. Arguably one of the best attractions of this city are the Undavalli caves located 6 km from the city centre. It is also an important Buddhist site just like the others sites in the state.
The caves are one of the finest examples of rock cut architecture and these sandstone caves are believed to have been built around the 4th or 5th century.
The caves are a perfect example of the conversion of Budhhist stupas to Hindu temples. It is believed that the caves were used as rest houses by Buddhist monks. There are several sculptures and figurines associated with Buddhism on the first floor whose design and structure also resembles a Buddhist monastery or ‘vihara’.
The caves were reportedly converted to a Hindu temple replete with Hindu shrines after the decline of Buddhism close to the 15th century. The main shrine of the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Anantapadmanabha, which is in a reclining position.
There are several shrines, carvings and sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the caves.
The structure of the cave temple has an influence of multiple schools of architecture including the Jain as well as the Gupta schools.