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This article provides information about the Lalitagiri/Lalitgiri Village of Orissa. Lalitagiri is well known for its Buddhist sculptures.


Location: Approximately 90 km from Bhubaneshwar
Founded In: 1st Century
Significance: Buddhist sculptures

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 iconographical features of the Lalitagiri sculptures bear a strong resemblance to Java and Southeast Asian prototypes.

A number of excavations have been carried out at Lalitagiri, by the Archeological Survey of India. Among them, the most prominent one is that of an ancient stupa. The stupa is said to contain relics preserved in caskets of stone. Because of the age of the relics, as well as their silver and gold contents, it is alleged that they belong to Lord Buddha. Other excavations include black polished inscribed pieces of pottery of Ashokan Brahmi script, Kushan inscriptions, ornamental Brahmi, etc.

All these artifacts have further strengthened the notion that Lalitagiri was once a flourishing Buddhist center. A number of monuments have also been unearthed at Lalitagiri. Of them, the most significant ones consist of the ruins of an apsidal temple, encircled by monasteries and stupas. The recent excavations at Lalitagiri have been linked to the Gandharva School of art.

How to reach Lalitagiri

By Air
Bhubaneshwar is the nearest airport.

By Train
Bhubaneshwar is the nearest railhead and it well connected with almost all the major cities of India.

By Road
There is a good road network, linking Lalitagiri with Bhubaneshwar and a number of other cities.

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