Udayagiri, Tourist places to visit in Udayagiri Odisha
Udayagiri, the largest Buddhist complex in state of Odisha, 90 km from Bhubaneswar has assumed further importance after the recent excavation work which revealed the ancient name of the monastery as Madhavapura Mahavihara and brought to light a sprawling complex of bricks monastery with a number of Buddhist sculptures. In fact the entire area is found located at the foot hills of a large hill acting as the backdrop of the area.
Located in the basin of the u-shaped hill this Buddhist centre is still not completely excavated and exposed. Along with the nearby Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri this comprises the mini golden triangle of Orissa tourism.
The archaeological remains at Udayagiri consist of brick Stupa, two brick monastery (one excavated and the other excavated), a beautiful stone stepped well with inscription on it and rock cut sculptures at the top of the hill behind. Chronologically the Udayagiri Buddhist complex is later than Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri and the monasteries were probably flourishing well between 7th to 12th centuries A.D.
The large number of exposed sculptures from excavation as well as those found half-buried and in situ belong, obviously to the Buddhist pantheon and consist of Boddhisattva figures and Dhyani Buddha figures. Interestingly, although located close to Ratnagiri (about 5 kms.), Udayagiri does not possess a number of Vajrayana sculptures. Much remains to be known about this site. But at its present state it provides a grand sight to the visitors with it’s newly excavated sprawling monastery complex which is to be reached through a long stairway. The unexcavated area is inviting and challenging to the archaeologists as well as art lovers for the hidden treasure that lie buried. The ascent to the hilltop to see the rock cut sculptures is very adventurous and difficult.
The newly laid out hilly road, which has a serpentine passage along the foot hills, on the other side of Udayagiri is an added attraction and ensures all weather approach to the site.
How to Reach Udayagiri
Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport at a distance of 90 kms to Udayagiri
Closest Railway Station is Cuttack, 70 km away from Udayagiri and is connected with all the major railway heads in the country.
Udayagiri is well connected to Cuttack, through direct and regular bus service.
Where to stay
Based at Bhubaneswar, the Udayagiri could be taken as an excursion. One can stay at the Trident or the Oberois.
Excursions – Tourist Places Near Udayagiri
Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa is mere a 90 km away from Udayagiri but a reasonably good place to visit as the road communication is quite good. It’s a renowned Hindu pilgrimage with as many as 500 temples, architecturally brilliant and excellent for studying the architectural styles of 3rd Century. The Lingaraja temple, Kalinga Buddha Vihara, the Jaggannatha temple and the Mukteshwar temple is also a big attraction for the tourists. The place is also a shopping destination in Orissa.
Lalitgiri and Ratnagiri
The Ratnagiri and lalitgirii hills are nearby and offer an excellent addition for the Buddhist pilgrims to go through some other important ancient Buddhist remains and taste the ancient art sculptures.
The recent excavations, revealing some interesting facts, in the Langudi hills that are worth a watch with utmost interest. There are many Stupas cut out from rock grabbing attention, the Buddha in Samadhi-mudra, Sculpture of Goddess Tara, the harmonic umbrella, the Cylin dome etc have revealed a new chapter in the Buddhist tourist destinations.
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