Buddhist site museum at Lalitgiri in Odisha
What is the News?
- One of the earliest Buddhist settlements in Odisha, Lalitgiri, where excavations have yielded ancient seals and inscriptions, has been converted into a museum. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the museum through video conference from Bhubaneswar.
- Located in Cuttack district, it will be the third site museum of the Bhubaneswar circle of the Archaeological Survey of India after Ratnagiri and Konrak.
About the Museum
- The museum complex is spread over 4,750 sq. m.
- The building and auditorium are built over 1,310 sq. m.
- The complex has been constructed at a cost of ₹10 crore.
- Lalitagiri is a major Buddhist complex in Odisha comprising major stupas, ‘esoteric’ Buddha images, and monasteries, one of the oldest sites in the region.
- Together with the Ratnagiri and Udayagiri sites, Lalitagiri is part of Puspagiri University located on top of hills of the same names.
- Buddhist triangle of Odisha – Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, Udayagiri which are hills filled with ancient archaeological sites.
- The three complexes are known as the “Diamond Triangle”, significant finds at this complex include Buddha’s relics and tantric Buddhism was practiced at this site.
- Excavations at Lalitgiri have yielded the remains of four monasteries, showing cultural continuity from the post-Mauryan period till the 13th century CE.
- In 1937, the site was officially declared a protected monument by the central government.
- In 1985, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) started excavation at Lalitgiri to locate Pushpagiri, an important Buddhist site mentioned in the writings of the Chinese traveler Xuanzang.
- The centre of attraction is a relic casket containing corporal remains found inside the Mahastupta.