Lalitgiri Buddhist Site, Odisha – A Walk in the Past

About the place –
Lalitgiri, (locally Nalitgiri) together with Ratnagiri and Udayagiri is popularly known as the Golden Triangle of the Buddhist circuit in Odisha. This site was excavated during the 60s.

Located amid the scenic Birupa-Chitrotpala valley, 90kms from Bhubaneshwar these are some of the oldest Buddhist structures in Orissa with some of them as old as 1st century AD. This site is considered to be one of the most important sites as a casket containing a sacred bone relic of the Buddha was found here.

The site houses a huge brick monastery, chaitya hall, votive stupa, etc.


We started from Bhubaneshwar, passed Cuttack and then continued on the Paradweep Highway. The landscape changed to hills and forests. After a short walk through the woods, we were able to see the complex.

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There is a small temple and a step-well.

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We walked to the votive stupas, rock cut sculptures.

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There are quite a few statues of the celestial beings in this site.

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Amongst the stupas, this white-wahsed temple looks like the odd man out of the lot.

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This larger than life size statue of the Buddha is one of the attractions of the place.

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The threshold is also beautifully carved.

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We spent about an hour in this place before continuing to Ratnagiri and Udaygiri and later to Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary.

Unfortunately, there is no place to stay around, or any restaurant here; you can make a day trip and continue your journey. Please carry water with you, as it might get hot during the days.

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Thanksgiving:
This post will be incomplete without a Thanks to Ardhendu Sekhar Panda for choosing me to accompany him for his travels around Odisha to learn photography.
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This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
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