Large-scale excavation done in Ratnagiri reveals that the history of the significant Buddhist destination dates back to 6th Century AD and is associated with the Gupta Dynasty. Lying 100 km from Bhubaneswar and 70 km from Cuttack, Ratnagiri site, with immense archaeological significance, was first excavated between 1957 and 1960.
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. The site built during the reign of Narasimha Gupta Baladitya were originally an important center of Mahayana form of Buddhism, and later during 8th and 9th century, it emerged as a major center for Tantrik Buddhism or Vajrayana art and philosophy. The Tibetan Buddhist texts hint that Kalchakrayana also blossomed significantly in this place.
The motifs, known as Kunjalata and Patralata in Oriya, exemplify the process of cultural transfer and adoption of stuff from Buddhism. Various art and style trends in Orissa can be observed as similar to that of Buddhism.
The elegantly-built monasteries in the region say the history of the region was quite wealthy and also culturally flourishing. The monastery at Ratnagiri has 24 cells, a large courtyard, a shrine in the front, a lobby and much more. Numerous Stupas built in variety of designs tell the story of glorious past of the region. With the help of villagers, several Stupas situated in nearby areas have been added to the circuit, making Ratnagiri region an ideal Buddhist tourism place.