Buddhism a great religion given by Lord Budha by 6th Cen B C is as old as old as Lord Buddha. It is believed that Lord Buddha declared Kalinga (Modern Orissa) as one of the Twelve Places where the attainment of perfection can be achieved. It was one of the four places possessing inexhaustible treasures of precious substances.These Four Precious Treasures have also been alluded to by the Divyavandabna ,which states that Pingala of Kalinga, panduka of Mithila,Elaptra of Gandhara and Sarikha of Varanasi would be rulling when Maitreya would appear as Budha.The Early Vinaya Texts,Nikaya and Jatakas refer to two merchants brothers of Utkala(Modern Orissa) named Tapussa ( Tapassu) and Bhallika (Bhalliya) who were said to have been the first Disciples of Lord Budha. The Datthavamsa states that a colar bone of Lord Budha was taken by Sarbhu, a disciple of Sariputa to Mahiangana in Cylone and also give a detailed account of tooth relic being taken by Khema to the court of Brahamadatta, the King of Kaling who built a gigantic Chaitya over it in his capital Dantapura. In the year (1985-1986) in course of Excavatioan of Stupa Mound at Lalitgiri ( Cuttack District of Orissa,100kms from Bhubaneswar, Capital of Orissa) as many as three set of caskets designed in the form of Stupa has been found. The first outer one one is made out of Khandalite designed in the form of Stupa which has been made of two pieces of stones. On the lower part in the centre a groove is made to accommodate a traditional steatite casket. Inside steatite casket there is silver Casket and when the silver casket was opened, a golden casket was seen preserved and inside the gold casket, the sacred Relic is found. This is believed to be the relic of Lord of Buddha. We have known from known from the literary sources that three relics of Lord Budha was preserved in Orissa i.e. Kesa,Nakha,Danta(hair,nail and tooth).The XIII Rock edicts of emperor Ashoka (Originally belongs to Mauryan Dynasty of Magadha , the Modern Bihar became King of Magadha in 272 BC)bears the testimony that at the eighth year of his reign, he invaded the coutry of Kalinga in this as every scholar knows, many thousands of men were killed, several thousands were carried off into captivity and thousands died.These tremendous loss of life proved to be a turning point in the life of Ashoka.he confesses that after Kalinga war there commenced in his mind ardent desire for the practice of Dhamma and he accepted a Buddhist. After Kalinga War,Kalinga (Orissa) constituted the fifth province of the Maury an Empire with itís capital at Toshali ( Modern Name Dhauli famous for Ashokan Rock Edicts by 261 B C 7 Kms from Bhubaneswar, Capital of Orissa) ,which witnessed the horrors of the war sprang up as a great religious centre of that time. Emperor Ashoka made his earnest effort to preach Buddhism in Kalinga. He sent number of Buddhist Scholars for propagation of religion in Kalinga TIssa,the brother of Ashok did cose kalinga to be the place of his retirement and emperor had built a monastery named as Bhojakagiri Vihar for him, which became great centre of Budhist activities. During Sunga period (184 BC -72 BC) Buddhism lost its royal patronage. Famous Historian Dr N K Sahu brings attention of the scholars suggesting Mahayana Form of Buddhism evolved from Orissa, This was evidenced from Lama Taranathís information from Pag sam jan Zang.In post Gupta Period Mahayana Buddhism gained gained itís popularity in Orissa .Hiuen Tsang visited ,the Famous Chinese Traveler visited Orissa in 639 A D.he has given a vivid account about the condition of Budhism in the middle of the seventh century A D.according to his report,Orissa at aht time was divided into three principalities i.e. odra, Kangoda and Kalinga .From Su-yu-ki of huen tsang it is known that Budhism was a flourishing state in the country .The Buddhist ruins at Lalitigiri,Ratnagiri ,Udaygiri and Langudi ( huge Archeological sites of Budhist Monastery) in the Jajpur,Cuttack and Jajpur district respectively provide some evidences to show that the monastic establishments in these areas were flourished during these periods. Buddhism was flourished tremendously under Bhaumarule (736 A D to 910 A D) in Orissa when Orissa became centre of Mahayan and Vajrayana Buddhism. Tantrayan Buddhism is generally divided into three schools Viz.Vajrayan, Kalachakrayan and Sahajayana.
Important Budhist Ruins of Orissa
- Aragada Hill: Situated Near Khurda of Orissa.There is some Buddhists caves for residence of Buddhist Monkís residence. it was centre of Vajrayanic Buddhism from 8th to 13th Cen A D
- Benupada: Situated in the Puri District near Delanga Rly station. There are five stupas in One Place in an Old Monastry worshiped by people thinking as Hindu god. These five stupas are primodial elements of Five Dhyani Buddhas.
- Kakuidia: Village kakudia on Jatni-Pipili Road is the Hillockcontcained brick Structure of Stupa.
- Achyutarajpur: Near Banapur in Khurda district of Orissa. This is a remnant of a great Buddhist Monastery of 7th to 11th Cen A D.Numnber of Votive Stupa is found here and a beautiful Tara Image is found here.
- Tarapur:A Village located in Cuttack-Paradeep Road.There are many Budhist sculptures available here like Prajnaparamita,mairichi,Budha,Avaloketeswar and Tara.This belongs to period from 8th to 11th Cen A D.
- Banesvarnasi: Itís in Narasimghapur area of Cuttack district.It was originally a leading Budhist establishmentís .A beautiful Tara Images has found here.The site needs to be excavated.
- Vajragiri:By the side of National High way-5 in Jajpur district a Buddhist establishment from 9th to 12th cen A D .Number of Buddhist Images such as Padmapani, Vajrapani and Manjusri has been transferred to Orissa state Museum.
- Tarangasagarpur:15km North east of jajpur Town of Orissa ,place locally called Baudha Dhiha.This was a great budhist monastery from 5th to 8th century A D. Here two beautiful Buddha images are available, very beautiful carved and seated in Bhumisparsamudra in a Lotus Pedestal.
- Dhamnagar: Located in the district of Bhadrak of Orissa .a huge brick constructed budhist establishment of 8th/9th cen A D .Many Budhist Images are found here like Lokesvara,Padmapani,Avalokiteswar,Jambhala and a Tara images still under worship as village deity.
- Jajpur:One District headquarter of Orissa , once upon a time was a individual kingdom called Guhadeva patak and Bhaumakaras a dytnasty rulling over there and early rulers of this dynasty were absolutely Budhist. Huge Stupas and Monastries said have build under the patronage of the Bhaumakaras in the places like Lalitgiri,Ratnagiri,Udaygiri,Vajragiri,Kolangiri,Langudigiri,Ragadigiri,Rameswara,Arada,Kapila,Tarangsagarpur and solanpur whch are within the radious of Jajpur.All these Places are highly recommended to visit for tourist and research personnel interested in Buddhism.Most popular and huge Buddhist site here are lalitigiri,Ratnagiri,Udaygiri and langudigiri which are very Popular destination in Tourism .
- Kadipada: Located in Jajpur district famous for Mahayani Budhist culture .There are many Budha images are available.
- Jayrampur: located in Bhograi Area of Baleswar district of Orissa. There is a mound in the village called Ahuti Kunda (Sacrificial pit).Many Budhist sculptures are available from here which belongs to 5th to 6th cen A D.
- Ayodhya:25 km from Baleswar district of Orissa was a huge Buddhist establishment. There are many images like padmapani, Avalokiteswar are available from this place. This place was particularly was very important for the temple of Budhist Goddess Marichi.
- Khiching: Situated in Mayurbhanja district of Orissa in Karanjia Area.One mound, after excavation revealed the remails of stupa with a casket of ashes enshrined it.the Stupa was evidently a Buddhist one.Images found from this place preserved in site museum.
- Baudh: Boudh a district of Orissa, is rich in Buddhist antiquity. Perhaps the name Baud carries the reminiscences of budhistic heritage of the past. The offspring of Buddhist culture such as the worship of bhairava cult is till dominating religious activities of the people of this religion.
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