I am on a quest to visit all the Buddhist sites in Odisha and that means I have to visit some pretty odd site which one might not count as a tourist destination. I get the thrill of visiting these places but the same does not apply to the driver of the car hired to take me to these places. Mobile App based maps are not fully reliable when it comes to village roads of India. The next destination that I wanted to visit had a very funny incident while reaching this spot.
I was on the highway and instructing the driver about the turns. We had almost reached the destination with just a kilometer remaining the map indicated us to take a left turn, I informed the same of the driver and the car slowed down. There were no left turns visible to us, the only lane going left was a small unpaved mud road that too around twelve feet below with no possible slopes for the car to go down. We moved ahead and found a very steep road going down to meet that unpaved road. The driver confidently took the card downhill slowly and we were finally on the mud road as guided by the app. The next set of instructions completely stunned us as we were supposed to travel over two large ponds and then jump over a hillock. Realizing the blunder, we dropped the idea of using a GPS Map and asked few locals for the direction. We then took a detour and finally managed to reach our destination Kaima Hill.
What To See At Kaima Hill
Let me be dead honest with you in the beginning so that you do not have any misconceptions. There is very little to see out here and it’s more of an experience of being in this place rather than to see something physically present.
The most significant piece of history is the Rock Cut Elephant which stands at the bottom of the hillock. Previously this stone elephant was out in the open but recently it has been covered up and an iron gate has been put in front to protect it from miscreants.
As per ASI (Archeological Survey of India) findings, this rock-cut elephant belongs somewhere around 3rd century B.C. which can be roughly plotted during the reign of Maurya Dynasty rulers.
Other than this rock-cut elephant during the excavation process, several rocks cut Votive Stupas were found scattered around the hill. Two small stone pillars can still be seen places behind the rock-cut elephant enclosure. All the excavated materials have been shifted out thus you will not be able to see any of those.
Take the stairs right next to this enclosure and up ahead you will find another such enclosure. Inside this enclosure, you will find some stones scattered around. Initially, I failed to realize and on a closer inspection these turned out to be rocks with various inscriptions.
I was not yet satisfied with what I saw and wanted to explore the hill a little more. Despite the mid-day summer sun, I trekked up to the summit and then found the remains of excavation which were earlier carried out by ASI.
Around the 11th century A.D., there was a functioning monastery out here as per the findings. Nothing of this structure is visibly left standing and only the area around the summit of the hill can be assumed to be its original position.
There are some caves located on the other side of the hill which now is part of a temple where the locals worship. This cave can be seen from the main road and I skipped this as nothing much remain from the original period of history.
Location of Kaima Hill
Try to visit this place around in the morning before the midday sun. The short climb to the top can be grueling in the summer heat. Once you reach the top look around and you will get a 360 view of the surrounding landscape.
Carry water as the long climb surely would need some hydration.
Wear protective clothing to shield you from the harsh sun.
Avoid the rainy season as the rock surface can become slippery and difficult to walk on.
Others Blogs On Buddhist Site in Bhubaneswar
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Pushpagiri Vihara – Langudi Hill
Khandagiri Caves – Bhubaneswar
Udayagiri Caves – Bhubaneswar
Chausath Yogini Temple Hirapur
Sisupalgarh – The Forgotten City
Diamond Triangle of Odisha -Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, Udayagiri
Bajragiri Buddhist Site