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Lalitgiri Sightseeing

India Buddhism BookingChaitya-griha : Excavations also revealed a huge Apsidal "Chaitya-griha" (brick) facing east, measuring 22m in length and 11.40m in breadth. This solitary and unique structure was supposed to be the biggest prayer hall of the 'Vihar'.

 Chaitya-grihaThe excavation has digged out a huge brick monastery, the remains of a Chaitya Hall, a number of votive stupas and a renovated stone stupa at the apex of a small rugged sand stone hill dominates rural greenery around. Further the excavations have thread up a number of archaeological findings ranging from post-Gupta sculpture to an archer type gold coin of 'Chandra Gupta-I', 'Kishan' coins and Andhra ceramic a contemporary to the 'Satavahana' period. Other findings are 'Kishan Brahmi' inscriptions, inscribed sculpture, terracotta seals, monastic seals and water reservoir in the citadel. The antiquities and art objects having 'Kushan/Gupta' idiom are also notable findings.

The museum also displays a large number of 'Mahayana' sculptures consisting of colossal Buddha figures, huge 'Boddhisattva' statues, 'Tara', 'Jambhala', 'Padmapani', 'Aparajita', 'Avalokiteswar', 'Manjushri', 'Haviti', 'Maitreyas', and sculpture of Buddha showing his descent from 'Tushita' heaven. Interestingly, most of these sculptures have short inscriptions on them. The figures of standing Buddha with the knee-length draperies over the shoulders reminds one the influence of the 'Gandhara' and 'Mathura' School of Art. This also adds to mind the fact that 'Prajna', who had come from 'Takshasila' to ancient Orissa to learn the yoga philosophy, later left for China with the autographed manuscript of Buddhist text 'Gandavyuha' from Orissa king 'Sivakara Deva' I to the Chinese Emperor 'Te-Tsong' in 8th century A.D.

India Buddhism BookingThe discovery of caskets containing sacred relics, probably of the 'Tathagata' (another name of Buddha) himself, from the stone stupa at the top of the hill further enhances the sacredness of the stupa and the place for the Buddhists of the world. It also brings to mind the description of Hiuen T'sang, the Chinese traveller of 7th century A.D., about the magnificent stupa on top of a hill at 'Puspagiri Mahavihara', which emitted brilliant light because of its sacredness. The search is on for the identification of Puspagiri with Lalitagiri. Relics and Caskets have been the most significant and fascinating findings. The core of a hemispheric mound exposing the vestiges of a ruined stupa on the top of the Landa hill is one of the magnificent findings in Lalitgiri. The technique of preserving relics is a Chinese arte fact and has unique characteristics in India. Four caskets form one set, with the outer one made of locally available Khandalite stone, carved in the shape of a 'Votika stupa'. The second is made of stealite in a light grey colour, preserved within a socket inside the first one. The third is of silver and the fourth of gold. Within the fourth is the relic or the 'dhatu' in the form of a small fragment bone is preserved.

Scholars believe that the corporeal relics found in the caskets recovered at Lalitagiri could well be those of Buddha or one of his favourite disciples.

India Buddhism BookingOlasuni Hill : The top of the hill is the seat of saint 'Arkshita Das' who renounced the world in search of truth like Buddha in the medieval period and got enlightenment in the Olasuni cave and postulated a secular, non-sectarian and egalitarian philosophy. Even after 15 years of excavation at Lalitagiri the ASI (Archeological Survey of India), in a sense, Landa Hills has more positions to explore. Other hills and mounds still remain untouched.

School-Cum-Shelter Buildings Completed : With the help of Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and under the supervision of Pradeep port trust, 15 school-cum-cyclones has been completed The keys of these buildings, 11 of which were under Ersama Block and four in Tirtol area, were handed over to the Honorable Chief Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik by the Chairman of Paradeep Port Trust, Shri Santosh Kumar Mohapatra. These two-storeyed structures would serve as relief shelters at the time of natural calamities.

India Buddhism BookingAll these excavations make Lalitagiri the first priority for the tourists, particularly the ones from the Far East as well as South-East Asian countries.