Ratnagiri is one of the most famous Buddhist sites of India. Ratnagiri literally means the Jewel hill and lies in the Birupa river valley of Orissa.
Excavation work carried out here have exposed two big monasteries, one big stupa, Buddhists shrines, sculptures and votive stupas. The bigger of the two monastery has 60 columns and well decorated gates. The rich Buddhist treasures unearthed from here also include bronze and stone images of the Buddha as well as a number of idols of the Buddhist pantheons. Of special significance is a mammoth image of meditating Buddha, with eyes half open, at the top of the hill. A museum here safeguards and exhibits the relics unearthed from the site.
Excavation work connect the site to the Gupta period in the 6th century. The site was then a major centre of Buddhist learning and continued to thrive till 12th century. The Pushpagiri University mentioned by the Chinese traveller Hieun Tsang in his chronicles
Was located in Ratnagiri. Mahayana Buddhism flourished here during the initial period, however, by 8th 9th century, Vajrayana Buddhism or the Tantric Buddhism emerged became more dominant.
The Buddhist sites of Lalitagiri and Udaygiri are quiet closeby and must be visited while on a trip to the Ratnagiri.Lalitagiri is 55 km and Udaygiri is 60 km from Cuttack.
Location & AccessibilityRatnagiri is located at a distance of 70 km from Cuttack and 90 km from Bhubaneswar, in Jajpur district of Orissa. The nearest airport is located in Bhubaneswar. Flights from here connect to destinations like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Thiruvanantpuram. The nearest railway station from Ratnagiri is located in Cuttack. Trains from here connect to all major cities of the country. Buses also connect Cuttack to all important cities of the state. From Cuttack or Bhubaneswar, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach Ratnagiri.