Odisha is one of the major tourism destinations in India with many tourist attractions, ranging from wildlife and bird sanctuaries, exotic cultures, exquisite temples and extraordinary monuments, beaches, a home to artists and craftsmen, the natural beauty and friendly people. Odisha also abounds in Buddhist art and artifacts. The antiquity of Buddhism in Odisha is as old as that of Buddha, although he had never visited Kalinga during his lifetime. But in ancient manuscripts, it is mentioned that some relics like ‘KESA’ (hair relic) entered into ancient Odisha through two traders Tapasu and Bhallika. In subsequent period, the nail and tooth relics of Buddha too entered into Odisha.
The Diamond triangle tour takes you on an excursion to the Buddhist excavated sites of Lalitgiri, ratnagiri and Udayagiri. We also visit the peace pagoda built at Dhauli.
Our Diamond Triangle Tour of Odisha package is as follows:
Arrival at Bhubaneswar airport . Our representative meets and assists you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel . After a quick lunch we proceed for a half day city tour to see the old Jain caves at Khandagiri and Udayagiri. We also make a stop at the State Tribal Musem. Overnight In hotel.
Today we make an excursion to the DIAMOND TRIANGLE of Odisha. The main places of interest are Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udayagiri.
Ratnagiri is located by the river Birupa and is situated at a distance of 100 Kms away from Bhubaneswar. It has a rich concentration of Buddhist antiquities. A large scale excavation has unearthed Buddhist shrines , large monasteries , a big stupa and a number of votive stupas. In the beginning this was an important center for Mahajana form of Buddhism . During the 8th and 9th century this became a center for Tantric Buddhism.
Lalitgiri situated 90 kms away from Bhubaneswar , it is one of the earliest Buddhist complex dating back to the 1st century AD . The huge brick monastery , the remains of a Chaitya Hall , a number of votive stupas and a renovated stone stupa at the top of a rugged standstone hillock dominate the greenery around.The discovery of golden caskets in 1985 , containing sacred bone relics , probably of Tathagata enhances the sacredness of the place.
Udayagiri is known for its bell – shaped Stupa signifying Vajrajana form of Buddhism. One of the largest Buddhist complexes in Odisha , Udayagiri is about 90 kms away from Bhubaneswar. It is located in the basin of a U – shaped hill. The remnants suggest the presence of brick monasteries a brick stupa , rock cut sculptures and a stepped well with an inscription.
Today we drive to the holy city of the hindus at Puri. It is a drive of 75kms and we stop by at the peace pagoda at Dhauli.
Dhauli is a peaceful and serene environment , barely 6kms from the city center it is famous for the rock edicts of Ashoka.It was here at the foothills of the river Daya , the valiant people of Kalinga defended their territory and turned the river water into red with blood. It was here after the Kalinga Victory in the year 261 B.C that Ashoka the terrible , transformed into the compassionate and championed the cause of Buddhism.
After breakfast we proceed to the splendid Sun temple at Konark also known as the Black Pagoda. The entire monument is one of the finest examples of Kalinga style of Architecture. After a nice guided tour of the temple we visit some of nearby fishing villages to see the lifestyle of the fishermen. Evening free at beach market. Overnight at Puri.
Today we drive back to Bhubaneswar. We make a stop at Raghurajpur heritage village , the place is famous for its folk paintings , art and craft. A nice and traditional Gotipua dance can be arranged as per request . Later drive back to Bhubaneswar , we stop to see the unique Tantric temple at Hirapur. Evening free at ekamra haat. Overnight at Bhubaneswar.
The day will be used to cover all the ancient temples of Bhubaneswar. The ones that we will visit are Lingaraj , Mukteshwar, Parshurameswar, Rajarani, Vaital etc. Overnight at Bhubaneswar.