The history of Odisha art and architecture is dating from 261 B.C. , when Ashok , the the then King of Magadha conquerd Odisha, then known as Kalinga . The existing ancient monuments of Odisha cover a period of about two thousand years and present a varied and interesting study.
Odisha is full of archaeological treasures dating from the pre-historic times upto the end of the Muslim rule in the middle of the sixteenth century. The excavations at Sisupalgarh and Jaugada testify to the presence of a highly developed pre-historic civilisation in Odisha.
The caves of Khandagiri and Udayagiri represent Odisha cave architecture dating back to the first century BC. The caves were cut out in the solid rock on the orders of King Kharavela for the use of Jaina ascetics. There are altogether eighteen caves in Udayagiri and fifteen caves in Khandagiri. The caves are decorated with sculptural motifs. The Ranigumpha cave in Udayagiri is a two-storeyed structure and bears highly artistic sculpture. The caves consist of one or more cells and a few of them are fronted by pillared verandahs. The sculptures of Khandagiri and Udayagiri form a landmark in the history of Indian art. They present a vivid picture of the contemporary society and occupy an important place in the rock-out architecture of India.