Orissa located on the east coast of India is a mystical land where ancient heritage and modern today exist as one. A place known for awe inspiring monuments has thousands of temples, caves stupas. Even though Buddha not known to have visited this place, Buddhisn has been followed here right from the time of its inception. Scholars believe that today's Jajpur and its neighboring places are the sacred land of Mahayana sect of Buddhism. From 7th century to 15th century Buddhism flourished in this region. This is supported by the discovery of innumerable stupas, monasteries and antiquities of the period all over this place.
It is well known that after the Kalinga war, Emperor Ashoka by seeing the tremendous loss of life embraced Buddhism. This ancient place Kalinga is part of Orissa. After Kalinga War, he constituted the fifth province of the Mauryan Empire with it’s capital at Toshali (now known as Dhauli).
There are many Buddhist sites in Orrisa of which most famous are Udaygiri, Lalitgiri and Ratangiri. Udayagiri is a Buddhist complex with major stupas and monasteries. Even today here new Stupas are discovered. Lalitgiri is known to have Buddhist University in those days. There are various intersting structures here. Even Laltgiri has ancient stupas and monasteries.
Apart from these one can see Shanti Stupa and Rock Edicts of Ashoka. The recent findings from excavations at Padmapur, Banpur, Kuruma, Jaugada show spread of Orissa in the region. I have visited main sites here and will post more of them soon.