Modern day Orissa (ancient Kalinga) came to be associated with Buddhism when Ashoka invaded the land. In fact, the great King Ashoka did a lot to spread Buddhism in and around Orissa (Kalinga of that time) by starting a new era of art, education, peace and learning. Present day Orissa has inherited the Buddhist heritage, which was nurtured during the ancient Kalinga. One gets mesmerized by the remains of the Buddhist monuments and heritage in Orissa. The Buddhist tourist trail in Orissa brings to light some of the remarkable places that have withstood the ravages of time.
One of the important Buddhist destinations in India, Dhauli Hill is situated near Daya River, in the Khurda district of Orissa. It lies at a distance of approximately 8 km from the city of Bhubaneshwar. Dhauli hill holds the distinction of being the place where Emperor Ashoka renounced war and embraced Buddhism.
The village of Lalitagiri is situated in the state of Orissa. It lies at a distance of approximately 90 km from the city of Bhubaneshwar. Lalitagiri dates back to the first century and is considered to be one of the earliest Buddhist establishments in the world. Even today, the ancient stupas, beautiful sculptures and the caves make the place look like that of an ancient age.
The city of Ratnagiri is situated in the in Jajpur district of Orissa, India. It lies at a distance of approximately 100 km from Bhubaneshwar city. The city stands encircled by rivers, namely Mahanadi, Brahmani, Kimiria and Birupa, in all the directions. A number of excavations have been carried out at Ratnagiri and they have dated the city to the period of the Gupta dynasty, i.e., somewhere around the 6th century AD. Numerous Buddhist structures were unearthed form the hill range nearby.
The city of Udaigiri is situated in Orissa, India. It lies at a distance of approximately 20 km to the northeast of Cuttack and 100 km from Bhubaneshwar. Udaygiri is one of the significant Buddhist destinations in India.
Buddhist sites and pilgrimage places in Orissa are associated with Buddhist sculptures, stupas, events etc.