June 6, 2023

So, we moved to Ratnagiri Monastery and different archaeological stays after visiting Udayagiri Monastery,  the opposite main Buddhist archaeological advanced whereas exploring the very best of Jajpur Tourism. In contrast to the previous, Ratnagiri is just not very desolate. It’s positioned near human settlements and it additionally appeared higher maintained than Udayagiri. (This additionally meant it had entry tickets and stricter guidelines like no drones… Not that I used to be carrying it).

Ratnagiri Monastery No 1

Ratnagiri can be a extra compact web site with the foremost buildings positioned adjoining to one another. We climbed the steps for some time after which immediately arrived in entrance of the stays of a large vihara. Let’s take a look at numerous elements of the Ratnagiri Monastery one after the other. 

Historical past and Rediscovery of Ratnagiri Monastery Ruins 

The Ratnagiri Buddhist Website together with the massive Monastery and large stupa was found by archaeologists within the early twentieth century though severe excavations came about solely within the Nineteen Fifties. The positioning is located within the Ratnagiri hill vary, which is part of the Pushpagiri forest. It’s collectively part of the Diamond Traingle of Odisha, the three main Buddhist archaeological websites together with Udayagiri and Lalitgiri.

Creator at Ratnagiri

From the sculptural and epigraphic stays it’s evidenced that the earliest Buddhist institution at Ratnagiri was about fifth century AD and continued as much as thirteenth century AD. Thereafter, it step by step misplaced its significance and abandoned after some years. The historicity of Ratnagiri in numerous sources like historic data, epigraphic or literary evidences together with a copper plate constitution of Somavamsi king Karna, discovered from the excavation proved that Ratnagiri was an necessary non secular and philosophical middle of yoga and tantric Buddhism (Vajrayana).           

Votive Stupa Cluster

Votive Stupa Cluster

The very first thing we noticed was a cluster of small votive stupas. Whereas I’ve seen them in lots of locations, I did some analysis about their objective. They apparently originate within the eight cylindrical buildings by which the Buddha’s relics had been positioned after his Mahaparinirvana. The stupa form is often related to the principle objective of Buddhism, i.e. launch from the cycles of rebirth and struggling.

A better look

The Maha Stupa

One of the crucial notable buildings on the Ratnagiri is the Maha Stupa or Nice Stupa, which is believed to be one of many largest stupa in jap India. The stupa is claimed to have been constructed throughout the sixth century CE and is believed to have been a middle for Buddhist studying and follow. The Nice Stupa is generally in ruins and is surrounded by smaller stupas that may nonetheless be seen.

The Maha Stupa in ruins

One other notable merchandise right here is the hardly seen portion of what seems like a large Buddha state. We virtually stepped on it however fortunately we didn’t. Apparently there’s far more to this web site that are but to be excavated. That is most likely one other large monastery beneath!

The Ratnagiri Monastery and Great Stupa were discovered in the early 20th century by the archaeologists. The site is believed to date back to at least 6th century CE and is associated with the Mahayana school of Buddhism and also with yoga and Tantric traditions.
Buried Statue

Monastery No. 1

Buddha Heads

The most effective preserved construction at Ratnagiri is the Monastery No. 1, which is taken into account to be the oldest and largest monastery on the web site. The monastery has a number of chambers and is believed to have housed a number of hundred Buddhist monks at a time. The monastery has a number of well-preserved sculptures and frescoes that depict the lifetime of the Buddha and different necessary Buddhist figures.


Even the entry gate is without doubt one of the most outstanding elements of the construction. The doorway has a definite bluish inexperienced tinge as a result of it has been made utilizing blue chlorite stone. There are a whole lot of sculptures on the gate and partitions, essentially the most notable one being that of Hariti. She is a deity who was primarily a demoness and after being transformed to the Righteous Path by the Buddha himself, finally turned a deity. There are different sculptures of Tara, Manjusri, Aparajita and many others together with Avalokitesvara and different Bodhisattvas.

Ratnagiri Monastery Blue Chlorite Gateway
The Iconic Bluish Inexperienced Chlorite Stone Door of Ratnagiri

The is a shrine on the again wall of this compound the place you may nonetheless see a bigger than life Buddha statue virtually intact, together with a whole lot of different sculptures. Altos noteworthy are the large Buddha heads which might be most likely essentially the most photographed merchandise on this web site. 

Large Buddha

Monastery No. 2 and Different Constructions 

Monastery 2

Monastery 2 is positioned adjoining to the Monastery 1. It’s considerably smaller and fewer adorned in comparison with the opposite one. The easiest way to get a clearer view of this construction is to climb the steps of Monastery 1. 

Mahakal Temple 

Mahakal Temple

Simply past the massive stupa, there’s a massive medieval Shiva Temple. It’s a comparatively newer construction constructed round fifteenth century after the decline of this web site and Buddhism usually. I used to be considerably alarmed by the indiscriminate portray and restoration work right here that appears to have affected the unique look of the temple.

The Ratnagiri Archeological Museum

The museum right here shops a whole lot of artifacts discovered throughout the excavations. Nonetheless, it was sadly closed once we visited it. However, do go to it in case you get an opportunity. There’s even a web site for the museum… Right here’s what I might discover out from there…

“It has 3485 listed antiquities of which 238 are displayed within the museum galleries, hall, again aspect verandah and within the entrance entrance of the museum. The museum consists of 4 massive galleries with a protracted stepped hall displayed with numerous antiquities primarily associated to tantric Buddhism. These are diversified in nature and embody small votive stupas, sculptures of various medium and dimensions in stone, bronze, ivory, copper and stone inscriptions, inscribed pot sherds, terracotta seals and sealings and many others.

In gallery-1 the variety of displayed antiquities are 25, amongst them point out could also be manufactured from stone photos of Buddha, Avalokitesvara, Khasarpana, Manjusri, Tara-all belonging to ninth to eleventh century AD. The gallery-2 contains sculptures of Buddha, Bodhisattvas, Jambhala, Tara in numerous postures, Vasudhara, Chunda and others. In gallery-3 as many as 81 antiquities are displayed within the wall present instances and the necessary are stupas depicting Buddha, Bodhisattvas, Aparajita, Ushnishavijaya. The variety of displayed antiquities of gallery-4 is 80. The necessary shows of this gallery are inscribed pot-sherds, terracotta plaque depicting Buddha, monastic seal, copper plates and bronze photos of Buddha, Krishna-Yamari, Tara and Manjusri.

There’s additionally a reserve assortment consists of antiquities which embody stone sculptural items, monolithic votive stupas, terracotta seals and sealings, bronze objects, glass bangles, all are discovered from the excavations of the positioning. The doorway gate is adorned with giant sculptures of Avalokitesvara and Ashtamahabhaya-Tara.”


The Ratnagiri Buddhist web site is just not solely important for its historic buildings but additionally for its position within the unfold of Buddhism in historic India. The positioning is believed to have been a significant middle for Buddhist studying and follow, and several other necessary Buddhist students and monks are stated to have visited the positioning. The positioning can be believed to have been an necessary middle for the transmission of Buddhist artwork and structure, which influenced the event of Buddhist artwork and structure in different components of India and Asia.

You may also take a video tour of the positioning by my footages

Ratnagiri Monastery Journey Information

The right way to attain Ratangiri Monastery?

Ratnagiri Monastery is 29 KMs from Jajpur city and 79 KMs from Bhubaneswar, which is the principle airport and railhead. In contrast to Udayagiri, it’s an inhabited space, and it’s best to discover native transport too. Nonetheless, these three main websites are often visited collectively and so, it’s higher to have a automobile at your disposal. 

Ratnagiri Monastery Ticket Costs

Do be aware that tickets are completely different for Ratnagiri Buddhist Website and Ratnagiri Archaeological Museum.

Ticket for Ratnagiri Buddhist Website is INR 25 ($0.30) for Indian guests in addition to for individuals from SAARC and BIMSTEC nations however it’s INR 300 ($3.6) for all different nationalities.

There’s additionally an extra digicam price of INR 25. 

Entry is free for youngsters under 15 years. 

Ticket for Ratnagiri Archaeological Museum is just INR 5 for everybody.