Close view of carved niche in right wing of the Rani Gumpha, Udayagiri
Photographer: Cornish, William Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Rani Gumpha, Udayagiri, taken by William Henry Cornish in 1895, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. In the twin hills of Khandgiri, or Khandagiri, and Udayagiri, near Bhubaneshwar in Orissa, is a series of Jain cave temples called 'gumpha' locally, cut out of the sandstone. Most of them were excavated in the period of the Chedi kings in the 1st century BC. The Rani Gumpha or the Queen's Cave is the largest and most richly carved of the Udayagiri caves. It has a double storey, excavated on three sides of a quadrangle, with a spacious courtyard. Against the terminal piers of the verandah of the right wing, facing the courtyard, there are two guardian figures in high relief armed with spears and clubs. The figure on the left, which is seen in the photograph, is well preserved apart from the face. To the right of this figure there is a small chamber with two elaborately carved doors. The two side pilasters have bases in the shape of vases or 'ghatas' and capitals supporting winged lions. The carving around the arch represents a hill with several caves in which there are elephants, a bird, a snake and a human figure.