Lalitgiri, also referred as Naltigiri, is the 1st century Buddhist complex in the state of Orissa. The destination, along with Ratnagiri and Udayagiri, makes Puspagiri University which houses several best sculptures – including major stupas and monasteries (viharas) – of that era. Being a famous Buddhist pilgrimage, the ancient lush village Lalitgiri is visited by a large number of devotees of Buddhism.
The relation of this place with the origin of Buddhism was revealed by a number of excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which has been holding such excavations since 1985 to the present day.
In the museum located here you find the relic caskets believed to have been containing the bones of Gautama Buddha and other archaeological findings as a public display. The ASI continuously excavated the site from the year 1985 to 1992. In these excavations, they found the remains of a huge stupa along with a relic caskets containing four containers made of khondalite, steatite, silver and gold, as well as other important structures and archaeological remains.
LocationThe village of Lalitagiri is located 90 km away from Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Orissa.
A hub for pilgrims as well as archaeologists, the 1st century complex holds some amazing sculptures of the age. In the hill range you can find various stupas. Other major tourist attraction of the place is the Chaitya hills.
On the top of the Pushpagiri hill, you find a giant stupa of Mahavira considered as a luminous piece of Buddhist architecture. From the relics of Buddha sculptured on the cascades, you can observe the culture of that era when Buddhism blossomed.
Some important archaeological findings of ancient sculptures and other materials by the recent excavations have made the destination more famous. Archeologists have linked the structures to the Gandhrva School of Art.