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Ratnagiri Sightseeing

India Buddhism BookingThe Stupas : The main stupa of Ratnagiri is encircled by other small stupas of Buddha. Given by various donors, these Stupas are differentiated through their varieties of structure, material and construction. As the main stupa stands as a symbol of devotion, the pilgrims gather near it for worship.

Monasteries : To the north of the main stupa, two impressive full-fledged monasteries are found. The larger one is known as Monastery No. 1, which is also known as ‘Chahtu-sala’ is in rectangular in shape and has 24 cells. For the lovers of art and architecture the monastery offers of a large courtyard, a shrine in front and a lobby etc. The main magnetism of the monastery is its size, symmetrical plan and affluent delicate carving. The exquisite artistry in the doorframe of the monastery makes everybody spell bound, with its chlorite stones offering it a lovelier finish than the most of the shrines in India. The doorway, with its delicately cut out figures of males and a border of a row of flowers invites everybody to explore in. It has a pancha-ratna projection at the front, for the entrance complex. Approach is obtained from a stone paved forecourt by a flight of steps.

The sidewalls of the front porch are decorated with the exquisite figures of Vajrapani and Padmapani, standing within niches. The sidewalls, with their lavish and pleasant decoration, mark the splendor of decorative art, unrivalled anywhere in monastic structure. A temple, with curvilinear tower is also seen in this site. It is only one of its kinds, discovered in Orissa, within a Buddhist complex.

India Buddhism BookingMonastery No. 2 : consists of a central paved courtyard flanked by a pillared verandah around which are arranged 18 cells, a central shrine, entrance porches with ornamented door frame.

Its front side is Pancha-vatha on plan, while other exterior sides are Tri-vatha on plan. The stone paved central shrine facing the entrance houses a standing Khondolite image of Buddha in varada mudra, flanked by the figures of Brahma and Sakra on both sides.

Ratnagiri has various relics — among them, icons of Buddha and a host of divinities including Tara, Lokesvara, Aparajita, and Hariti are worth mentioning. They boast of post-Gupta period of Indian art and the Ratnagiri images remarkably preserve the Gupta idiom and sublimity. All these images and antiquities are preserved in an attractive museum in the complex. The Motifs are the manifestation of cultural transfer and adoption of items from Buddhism as the similar art and style in vogue in Orissa. They are known as Kanjulata and Patralata in Orriyan language. The Buddha Sculptures, especially the one in Varada Mudra is worth a close look for its smooth finish and the artistic language it speaks in. Besides this, there are many other sculptures of significant Buddha followers.

India Buddhism BookingThe three images of Yamuna, Kubera and Laxmi here are found in both Buddhists and Hindu art, which means ‘prosperity’. The River Yamuna brings fertile soil and fish to the land; Kubera is a yaksha (nature-spirit), the guardian of buried treasure, and Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, symbolizing the life-giving monsoon (elephants = storm clouds) that annually revitalizes the land.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa : Vishwa Shanti Stupa is the stupa which was built by the Japanese on the top of the Ratnagiri hill. This stupa can be reached by an aerial ropeway and dedicated to the world peace. This large white monastery has four golden statues of the Buddha representing his birth, enlightenment, preaching and death. The Japanese also built a large temple, known as the Nipponzan Myohoji.