In the first century BC, rock caves were carved out to accommodate Jain ascetics under the Kharavel(Chedi) dynasty. The Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves display highly aesthetic wall panels depicting contemporary life. In Puri, Keonjhar, Balasore and Koraput, caves have been unearthed with figures of Jain Tirthankaras and Sasanadevas and their emblems. Some of the cells have pillared verandahs circling them.
While Buddhism was followed by the people of Odisha (Orissa) ever since its origins as a religion, it took a new turn after King Ashoka adopted its tenets after the Kalinga war. Between 261 BC to the 12th century AD, Buddhist art flourished, and sculptures of the Bodhisatva and Avalokiteswara abound in Lalitgiri, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri.