Ratnagiri Buddhist Circuit is the common name for Ratnagiri and the nearby Buddhist Places significance, including Dhauligiri, Udayagiri and Lalitgiri. These all together make the region a Buddhist circuit in and around Ratnagiri and also make it a perfect tourist destination.
Located in the Birupa river valley in the district of Jajpur, Ratnagiri is a renowned Buddhist centre. You can find several wealthy Buddhist antiquities at the small hill near the village of Ratnagiri. With a large-scale excavation, two large monasteries, a big stupa, Buddhist shrines, sculptures and a large number of votive stupas have been unearthed.
The history of Ratnagiri dates back to 6th Century AD and relates with the Gupta Dynasty, as the excavations has revealed. The excavation of a huge monastery at Ratnagiri has revealed that it is related to the Mahayana sect, and the kings like Ashoka and other of the Gupta dynasty spread Buddhism in the region. You can see here many other clues of Buddhist origin, like the Monastery, Stupas, Chaityas, among others. Ratnagiri is also considered to be a great place of learning for the Budhism of Tantric cult, known as Vajrayana. The Tibetan Buddhist texts hint that Kalchakrayana also blossomed significantly in this place.
In the Jajpur district, Udayagiri has recorded its significance in Buddhism after recent excavations revealing the ancient name of the monastery as Madhavapura Mahavihara. A brick monastery with a number of Buddhist sculptures has also been unearthed by an excavation.
Dhauligiri or Dhauli
Lying 8 km from Bhuabneswar, Dauli looks down on the plains that that tells the history of the great Indian king Ashoka who turned to non-violation, adapting Buddhism, after having a bloodbath in Kalinga.
Other significant places relating to Buddhist complex around Ratnagiri are Lalitgiri, Bargarh District, Naraj, Jaugada, Banpur and Balasore District.