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Buddhism in Orissa

Buddhism had a great impact on the history and geography of Orissa. Though the there are few Buddhist religion people currently living in Orissa but it has great impact in Oriya life and culture. As thery belive Lord Buddha as a avatar of Lord Vishnu.

The great Kalinga war, which transformed Asoka into a devout Buddhist and a great champion of Buddhism, had been fought on the Orissan soil on the banks of the river Daya, not far from the temple city of Bhubaneswar. From here the light of Buddhism radiated to different Far Eastern countries like China and Japan. It is here that the foundation of a great religion and culture was laid. Orissa held the torch of peace and non-violence (Dhamma) to the whole world. This great transformation which literally changed the whole world could be felt and experienced when one walks through the vistas of Buddhism in Orissa.

As a testimony to this great transformation we have the famous major rock-edicts of Asoka at Dhauli near Bhubaneswar and Jaugada in Ganjam district. Through the years, from the 3rd century B. C., Orissa had nurtured a number of Buddhist centres of learning, art and establishments in several places which flourished up to the 12th 13th century A.D. In fact, these places of Buddhist interest had been a great source of attraction to outside visitors from as early as the 7th century. The famous Chinese traveler Hiuen T'sang had visited the Buddhist centres in Orissa in the 7th century A.D.

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