Lalitgiri is found in the state of Odisha and can be dated to the first century. This is also a part of what is known as the Diamond Triangle including Udayagiri and Ratnagiri, all important sites in Buddhism. Known since ancient times for its important stupas and the statues of Buddha’s as well as for the large chaitya hall that has been found in recent excavations. Buddhism had a strong hold in and around Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh before it spread to Sri Lanka and the Far East. The famous Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsiang also mentions Laltigiri for its sacred stupa. Records also state that this was part of the famous Pushpagiri University that was set up for the research and continuation of Buddhist studies. There were also many caskets found here during the excavations and some of these richly decorated caskets made of steatite, gold, silver and even khondalite are believed to contain bones of the Buddha himself. There are plans to build a museum to showcase these caskets as well as other important archaeological finds.
This site must be visited and the carvings and statutes will astound any visitor especially since the artists would have only basic chisels and hammers yet the carvings are intricate and delicate. Lalitgiri is included in many of the tours that visit the sacred sites of Buddhism. Find out about the available options by browsing online and going through sites that specialize in Buddha tours. A good agency will take care of the travel, the accommodation and even most meals. Join up with a group or customize a trip to include the important Buddhist sites and enjoy a different sort of holiday.