The Udaigiri Caves are small, with rectangular cells behind pillared porticoes, with richly carved doorways. The sculpture displays admirable sophistication and craftsmanship of a very high standard, and exudes a certain spiritual beauty-characteristic of Gupta art. Out of the nine caves at Udaigiri, a few deserve special mention. The frontage (porch) of Cave 1 has four columns fashioned in the typical vase and foliage style which, in architectural terms, reinstates the significance of water as the life force of plants and indirectly, of all living forms. Cave 9 has large cells and grand pillars almost 8 feet high. Cave 4 has a superb ‘Ekmukhishivalingam’ — the head of Lord Shiva emerging out of the lingam. Cave 5 has one of the most splendid examples of a sculpted panel executed on a grand scale. The boar panel, measuring nearly 22 by 13 feet is the largest as well as the most ancient and depicts Lord Vishnu in his incarnation, i.e., the Boar, rescuing the Goddess Earth from the coils of the serpent. Majestic representation of the Varaha (Boar) incarnation of Vishnu, holding aloft on its right tusk, Prithvi , the earth goddess, is an outstanding specimen of early Indian art. These caves are important from the point of view of art, architecture, history and epigraphy of early Gupta period. The lower portion is sculpted with wavy patterns punctuated with lotus and also representations of the Ocean God while the two great rivers — Ganga and Yamuna can be identified by their vehicles the maker (alligator / crocodile) and the tortoise respectively.
The caves at Udaigiri were built during Gupta times and preceded the ones at Ajanta . However, they possess all the distinctive features - vigour and richness of expression - the entrance way inter-colomination and the system of continuing the architrave as a single course round the structure. The great stupa and magnificent gateways at Sanchi, the monasteries, temples and sculpted pillars dotting the nearby regions of Vidisha and Udaigiri are breathtaking landmarks of Buddhist art and architecture that flourished and found sublime expression in this ancient site, and are some of the finest examples of sculptural decoration and images of Buddha.