Buddhist Mythology: Landmarks the Buddhism in Kalinga
According to Sri Lankan legends, when the Buddha died, his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre at Kusinara in India and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre by Arahat Khema. Khema then gave it to King Brahmadatte for veneration. It became a royal possession in Brahmadatte’s country and was kept in the city of Dantapuri (present day Puri in Orissa).
A belief grew that whoever possessed the Sacred Tooth Relic had a divine right to rule that land. Wars followed. 800 years after the Buddha’s death, in the 4th century CE the tooth came into the possession of King Guhaseeva of Kalinga. He send his daughter Hemamali and her husband the prince Dantha away from the kingdom as war loomed. Hemamli hid the relic in her hair and travelled to Sri Lanka via Tamralipta. The relic was housed in Anuradhapura and later at its present resting place at Kandy. It is believed that a stupa at the site of the Temple of Lord Jagannath housed the tooth relic.
Myth says that Emperor Ashoka – distraught with the bloodshed at the Kalinga war met with Upagupta near the sleepy village of Toshali on the banks of river Daya – from here comes the name of the “Toshali Resorts” !! Probably. Archaeological findings abounds around the place – one even in a close proximity to the Konark temple.
Other than being the site of the Kalinga war Dhauli is much renowned for its 3rd century Ashoka edicts, the Shanti Stupa or Peace Pagoda, and the nearby Buddhist monastery. Here happened the war that ultimately helped spread Buddhism worldwide. Next up Lalitgiri – it has one of the earliest Buddhist complexes in the world believed to be made in the 1st century AD. With several rock-cut caves, viharas, chaityas, monasteries, stupas, and caskets of stone with Buddhist relics that throw much light on the history of Buddhism.
Ratnagiri located in the Jajpur district of Orissa has excellent Buddhist ruins, sculptures, large monasteries, shrines, big stupas, and a colossal statue of Lord Buddha which much attract the visitors to the state. However, it is the wonderful Pushpagiri monastery that is really the pride of the place.
A renowned pilgrimage destination, Udaygiri is the largest Buddhist site in Orissa and is much famous for the Avalokitesvara statue of Lord Buddha. This statue of Buddha is unique as here the Enlightened One, i.e., Lord Buddha, is depicted having long flowing tresses.
Nestled in the triangle of Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udayagiri, Langudi ihouses clusters of rock carvings, consecrated stupas, two exclusive figures of Buddha along with female devotees. Remains of a monastery, constructed of bricks, two inscribed figures of Emperor Ashoka. One of it displays Ashoka with 2 queens.
Additionally these places and Khandagiri are important for Jain piligrims too. Today I’ll sign off with a quaint belief – Jagannath is identified with Buddha. His iconographics representation approximation o the meditating Buddha. The Triad is depicted as Buddha, Dharma and Sangha – the three gems of Buddhism, some even find affinity of the car-festival with Buddhist festivals. The Tooth-relic of Buddha is supposedly inside the images of the triad and is known as “Brahma-Padartha” (Divine-Matter). The Triad is deified by the Jainas as manifestation of the Jaina “Tri-ratna” (three gems of Jainism) representing right knowledge, right thought and right perception.
This is our land where everything is different but similar – separated but connected. Someday i hope to write about followers of Islam who enriched the tradition of Lord Jagannath and a king who ruled in his name.
Toshali Sands at Puri, Orissa, takes great pleasure in attending its travelers, corporate managers and guest, coming from Sri Lanka and South East Asia covering Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Singapore. Toshali offers exclusive budget packages and arrange group excursion for the international Buddhist pilgrim, . For more details visit
I would love to hear, your visit to Buddhist Shrine, Toshali would be gald to have you as guest.
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