5 Sacred Buddhist Sites in Odisha

By Srikanta Mohanty: Nothing gets lost in the world. Change is the axiomatic but universal order. One reaps as he or she sows. These karmic and invaluable truths were the gems of wisdom from the mouth of Gautama Buddha.

The soil of pristine land- Odisha-once held aloft the principles of Buddhism. “Compassion” and “empathy’ for one and all were the precepts that were deeply ingrained in the nature of millions of people of this statehood. It stayed the fertile ground of Buddhism that left indestructible messages at numerous Buddhist sites all over the state. The sites still draw hordes of pilgrims from different parts of the world.

The five sacred Buddhist sites in Odisha are as follows:


During the peak time of Buddhism, Ratnagiri monastery in Jajpur district of Odisha was an acclaimed institution in research and study about Buddhist principles and monastic life. As excavation of the site unearthed the relics of an imposing stupa, surrounded by many votive stupas, the twin quadrangular monasteries give a vivid description of a rich Buddhist past in the state. Dating back from circa 5th century, this monastery had a phenomenal growth at that time.


As the famous case of transformation of Emperor Ashoka adorns the pages of history, the peace pagoda at Dhauli near the temple city of Bhubaneswar is a major attraction for one and all. The beautiful structure at the top of the hill offers stunning panoramic view of the city. It pays rich tribute to a ruler for his initiatives for peace, while reconfirming that despite the growing devastating acts of violence and intolerance all over the world, teachings of Buddha could bring everlasting peace once again.


Located at the distance of 90 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, Lalitgiri is one of the oldest Buddhist settlements that date back to 1st century. With its exquisite caves, monasteries, and stupas, the place gives wonderful glimpses of a rich past and traditions in this state that were uniquely tolerant to every religion and its followers.


Those visiting Ratnagiri in Odisha invariably pay a visit to Udaygiri that comes in close proximity. The caves inside the place and inscription on their walls bare rich insights about the modes of pedagogy and erudition that once went on in the age of Buddha. The sculptures showing Buddha in meditative stance give complete elucidation of glorious days of Buddhism.


This Buddhist spot comes in the district of Rayagada of Odisha and has the recognition of a famous tourist spot. As per the message found in the nearby temple of Shiva- Nilakantheswar temple, the place was the monastery of famous Buddhist logician philosopher-Dharmakriti. The learned Buddhist lived in the nearby Jagadamba Hill.

buddhismBuddhist SitesGautama BuddhaOdisha ToruismtouristsToursit Destinations