Often confused with the more prominent Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves of Bhubaneswar, Udayagiri is the least known and least excavated of the Buddhist Diamond Triangle, while it is the biggest and most picturesque site of the triad. Nestled between the foothills of two mountains ranges of the eastern ghats, Udayagiri is divided into two parts-the Madhavpura Mahavihar and the Simhaprastha Mahavihar.
Not much is known about the site as of date; the excavations were first started in 1985 and carried on intermittently till 1990. Still a large part of the site remains to be excavated.The Madhavpura Mahavihar has a massive Mahastupa and monastery along with Chaitya griha’s. The Simhaprastha Mahavihar houses the ruins of the monasteries and the meditation chambers.
The important aspect of this site is the fact that unlike Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri there are no sculptures or scriptures found so far at this site which link it to Vajrayana tantric cult.
What adds to the beauty of the place is the presence of beautiful native species of birds that flock the area in abundance, right from the entry point to the Mahavihars. Unlike other two sites, Udayagiri isn’t a ticketed site yet. So entry is free.Engage the local ASI personnel as a guide, this will help you understand the site better and make your experience worthwhile. They are usually found at the entrance of the Madhavpura Mahavihar- i.e. the first site which is demarcated by the idols found during excavation lined up along the boundary wall.