Call to unearth architectural deposits of Buddhism in Odisha

A three-day international conference on Buddhist Heritage was inaugurated by State Tourism and Culture Minister Maheswar Mohanty at Udayagiri in Jajpur district on Friday.

The dignitaries, who addressed the inaugural session, were of the opinion that adequate research and excavations were needed for bringing out more significant aspects and hidden sculptural and architectural deposits of Buddhism in Odisha.

Diamond triangle

The diamond triangle – Lalitgiri-Udayagiri-Ratnagiri – was as much important as Nalanda and other Buddhist sites in India and abroad, they said.

More than 324 Buddhists sites were reported from different parts of Odisha out of which 108 sites have remains of Buddhist establishments in the forms of Stupas, Chaityas or monastic complexes.

Votive Stupas had been found from 53 sites. Excavations were conducted at 19 sites out of which four had been excavated extensively at Lalitgiri, Udayagiri, Ratnagiri and Langudi hills in Jajpur.

The discovery of the tooth relics of Buddha in a golden casket had established the place as a centre of worship and learning.

Tooth relics

There was a need to highlight the cultural heritage and the natural beauty of the famous diamond triangle, the speakers said.

A large number of famous historians, archaeologists, scholars, tour operators and travel writers are attending the conference.

Around 200 learned delegates from different parts of the country and abroad will deliberate over the next two days on the religious, cultural and tourism potential of the area.

The conference has been organised by the State government’s Department of Culture and Tourism in association with Utkal University of Culture, Utkal University and Archaeological Survey of India, Bhubaneswar Circle.

  • Votive Stupas have been found from 53 sites

  • Around 200 delegates are taking part in the meet