The largest Buddhist complex of Odisha Udayagiri

In this article I will explain about Udayagiri Buddhist centres of Odisha,its geographical location, and its position on the Buddhist triangle, the excavated monastries and stupas, Buddha's figure in Dhayana Mudra,the time of existance of the monastry, the Buddhist scluptures found from here, the rare image of some Buddhisms and the other attractive places near by it.

The Buddhist centres of Odisha is famous as well as remarkable for its rich architectural remains and sculpture wealth. After the great Kalinga war of 21BC the light of Buddhism from Great Ashoka emitted to the eastern countries like China and Japan. It is Odisha where the foundation of this great religion was laid. Odisha held the torch of peace and nonviolence to the whole world. Though many Buddhist centres are present in Odisha but Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri on the bank of Birupa are the most opulent Buddhist sites and they form the mini golden triangle of Odisha tourism.

Udayagiri of Jajpur district is another point of Buddhist triangle which is situated at a distance of 100km away from the capital, at the foot of large hills which enhances of the beauty of the place. It is also situated at a distance of 8km from Ratnagiri. It is the largest Buddhist complex in Odisha. The recent excavation also tells that it will be the Largest Buddhist complex of Odisha. The excavation here brought to light the remains of two monasteries and a huge stupa encircled by Buddha in Dhayna mudra in four cardinal directions. The ancient name of the monastery was Madhabapur Mahavihara. Located on the U-shaped hill this Buddhist centre is still not completely excavated and exposed.

Like the other Buddhist centres of Odisha the historical background of this Buddhist centre is not much known. But one thing cleared about it is that it is not as old as Ratnagiri and Udayagiri. It may be existed most probably between the 7th -12th century. The recent excavation has unearthed a large brick monastery with a number of Buddhist sculptures and treasures. It is also expected about the presence of another brick monastery for which the excavation work is still being carried out here. Besides the most important discovery from here has remained a large number of sun-baked clay sealing's with inscriptions on it. The inscriptions on it identify Madhavapura Mahavihara.

The archaeological remains at Udayagiri consists of two brick monastery, a brick stupa, a beautiful stone stepped well with inscription on it and rock cut sculpture at the top of the hill behind. The large numbers of exposed sculptures belong to the Buddhist pantheon and consist of Boddhisattva figures and Dhayni Buddha figures. Apart from these the images of Avalokiteswar, Tara, Aparijita, Heruka also excavated from here. Ratnagiri possess a number of Vajrayana sculpture, but it is interesting to know that Udayagiri does not possess any Vajrayana sculpture being close to Ratnagiri(about a distance 5kms). Much remains to be known about this site as large areas are here which are still unexcavated. The unexcavated are is challenging to the archaeologists for the hidden Buddhist treasure that lie buried.

The other attractions near Udayagiri are
Chatia(25km from Cuttack):Famous for Lord Jagannath temple.
Olasuni Pitha: Famous for the Samadhi Pitha of sacred Hadi Das.
Chandikhol: Famous for attractive picnic spot with natural sceneries and Lord Mohabinayak temple
Ratnagiri,Lalitgiri: The famous Buddhist centres of Odisha.

The above features make Udayagiri unique in the Buddhist world.


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