Ratnagiri ( ରତ୍ନଗିରି )

Description : Ratnagiri ( ରତ୍ନଗିରି ) was once the site of a mahavihara, or major Buddhist monastery, in the Brahmani and Birupa river valley in Jajpur district of Odisha. The place consists of several important Buddhist sculptures spotted around the hills. According to some excavations, the history of the region is associated with 6th Century AD and the Gupta Dynasty.As per an excavation, a huge monastery at Ratnagiri dates back to the Mahayana sect. It also revealed that the kings like Ashoka of the Gupta dynasty publicized Buddhism in this area. There has been found a number of other hints of Buddhism, including the Monastery, Stupas, Chaityas, among others. Ratnagiri is believed to be a outstanding objective of learning for the Budhism of Tantric cult that is Vajrayana. The region also witnessed the blossoming of the Kalchakrayana, as clued by Tibetan Buddhist texts.


Ratnagiri is spotted with several Stupas, which presents a bright picture of Buddhism. These stupas, numerous and in varieties, portray a vivid picture of Buddhism in ancient India, in its fully bloomed phase. Moreover, they represent the only site with monolithic stupas in such dense manner, also due to the helping hand of the villagers who added stupas from the nearby places into the site.


The monasteries situated portray the glorious past of Ratnagiri and the vicinity area to the visitors. The stylishly-built monasteries signify the cultural richness of history of the region in terms of Buddhism. The Ratnagiri monastery displays 24 cells, a large courtyard, a shrine in the front, a lobby and more than that.


The motifs, called Kunjalata and Patralata in Oriya, are representation of the process of cultural transfer and adoption of items from Buddhism as the similar art and style is in Vogue in Orissa, in some parts even in other communities than the Buddhists. The Buddha Sculptures, especially the one in Varada Mudra is worth a close look for its smooth finish and the artistic language it speaks in. Besides this, there are many other sculptures of significant Buddha followers.

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