When you visit Orissa on your India Buddhist tourism, do not forget to explore the Buddhist heritage at Udayagiri in Jajpur district. Udayagiri, situated at the foot of a large hill, forms the three major Buddhist attractions of the state along with Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri. This hill provides an extremely grandiose backdrop for Udayagiri Buddhist complex.
The history of Udayagiri Buddhist complex is not much known, however what is for sure is that it not as old as Ratnagiri or Lalitgiri. Most probably, it existed and flourished between the 7th 12th century. Recent excavation work carried out have exposed a number of Buddhist treasures. It is now known that the ancient name of the monastery here was Madhavapura Mahavihara. A large brick monastery together with a number of Buddhist sculptures has been unearthed. There is also another brick monastery which is still not excavated apart from an inscripted stepped stone well and rock cut sculptures. The last of these is located at the top of the hill behind. Bodhisattva figures and Dhayani Buddha figures are other treasures recovered from this site.
Excavation work is still being carried out in the Udayagiri Buddhist complex. There is a large area which is still unexcavated and grips its visitors with thrill and anticipation. They want to know what lies beneath the site and what is the history that will spring up once the site is excavated.
What is also interesting about the site is the fact that despite being so close to the Ratnagiri, Udayagiri did not reveal Vajrayana sculptures during excavation. For adventure enthusiasts, a climb up the hill behind is an added attractions.
The Buddhist Monuments of Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri are quiet closeby and can be visited on a trip to the Udayagiri Buddhist complex.
Location & AccessibilityUdayagiri Buddhist complex is located in the Jajpur district of Orissa, India and can be visited by making either Bhubaneswar or Cuttack a base. Bhubaneswar has a domestic airport and is connected to destinations like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur and Hyderabad. The city is also connected by fast and superfast trains to all important destinations in the country including Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Thiruvanantpuram. From Bhubaneswar, Udayagiri Buddhist complex can be reached by car, taxis or auto rickshaw.
Best Time to VisitThe best time to visit the Udayagiri Buddhist complex is between the months of October and March.