BUDDHIST HERITAGE OF ODISHA
The numerous stupas and images found across Odisha is a testimony to its long heritage. The Shanti Stupa at the Dhauli Hill is an example to it. The state is one of the foremost epicenters of Buddhist pilgrimage tourism.
Famous Buddhist Places in Odisha
Dhauligiri – Located on the banks of Daya River, at approximate distance of 8 km South of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Dhauli hills has major edicts of Ashoka by the side of the road, and engraved on a mass of rock leading to the summit of the hill.
Jirang Buddhist Monastery – Well known as the abode of Lord Buddha, it is located at an approximate distance of 80-85 kms from Berhampur. Inaugurated by famous Dalai Lama, there is a temple complex, lush green gardens, a canteen and residential buildings over here.
Kuruma – It is an ancient Buddhist site lying nearby holy city Konark in Odisha. Situated at about 7 km distance from Konark Sun Temple, the Buddhist monastery has an open courtyard at the centre and twelve cells. The complex is been made up of bricks and khandolite stones.
Langudi – It is a low hill, situated in the plains of Mahanadi Delta, at an approximate distance of 90 km from Bhubaneswar. Being devoid of all kinds of vegetation, there are many Khondalite clusters spread all around. There lies a series of rock cut early medieval Buddhist shrines and Buddhist stupas signifying as a prime centre of Mahayana, Hinayana, Vajrayana sects of Buddhism.
Jaugada – It is the ruined fortress situated in the Ganjam district in Odisha. Lying 160 km South West of Bhubaneswar and 35 km North West of Berhampur, the place is popular for its monumental stone cut edicts of Mauryan emperor Ashoka.
Udayagiri – Recognized as the largest Buddhist complex in the land of Odisha, there are majorly monasteries and stupas available here. Counted among important India’s archaeological site, the hills and caves are secure monuments managed entirely by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Lalitgiri – It is another well known Buddhist complex in the state of Odisha containing esoteric Buddha images, prime stupas and monasteries also been referred to as viharas, which are one the ancient and oldest of the region. It is a major centre of Buddhism and is well connected by all modes of transportation.
Ratnagiri – Once the site of a Mahavihara, it is a major Buddhist monastery that lies in the Birupa and Brahmani river valley in Jajpur district in Odisha. Being close to other Buddhist sites in the region, there are eighteen cells, a central based shrine, and ornamented entrance porticos.
Pushpagiri – Situated on the top of Langudi hills in Jajpur district in Odisha, it is an ancient Buddhist mahavihara comprising ruins of rock cut sculptures, stupas and different other artifacts. Perhaps, the sites here are the largest ancient and historic Buddhist complexes available across India.