Orissa, India — Research Trip in Spring 1999

Noboru Ogata (Kyoto University)

This page presents my records and photos during a research trip made by the Research Group on the Travel by Xuanzang (Feb. 24 - Mar. 4, 1999). Xuanzang described Orissa in his "Buddhist Records of the Western World" as 'Udra' and 'Kongoda'.

CORONA satellite photo over Sisupalgarh near Bhubaneswar.

Before the research trip, I searched CORONA satellite photos over Orissa, but clear scene was not available. Cloudy scenes seemed useless. After the trip I found an interesting feature in a break in clouds. It seemed to be a ruin of a square shaped walled city having a moat and eight gates. It was identified as the archaeological site of Sisupalgarh. At each gate the wall is projected to strengthen defence, so that the city looks as if it had eight horns. There seems to be a monument at the center of the city.

According to Lal (1958), the foundation of the settlement of Sisupalgarh is considered to date back to the third century BC. It is speculated that the site can be identified as the capital of the ancient Kalinga State, which was referred to in the inscriptions of the Edicts of Emperor Asoka.

  • B. B. Lal (1958) SISUPALGARH 1948, Ancient India: Bulletin of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol. 5, pp.62-105.

Feb. 24: Arrived in Calcutta. Visited the Indian Museum. Stayed in Calcutta.

Statue of Buddha in the Indian Museum.
In the Indian Museum.

Feb. 25: Traveled to Bhubaneswar. Stayed in Bhubaneswar.

Feb. 26: Visited Buddhist archaeological sites at Udayagiri and Langdi Hill. Stayed in Bhubaneswar.

Stone image of Bodhisattva at the Udayagiri site.
Main Stupa of the Udayagiri site.


Statue of Buddha placed in a niche on the Main Stupa.
Lunch in a market town named Chandikhol.


Remains of a monastery under excavation at Langdi Hill site.
Landscape at Langdi Hill.

Feb. 27: Visited Buddhist sites at Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri. Stayed in Bhubaneswar.

Image of Buddha or a Hindu God at the village shrine of Ratnagiri shown above.
Shrine in the village of Ratnagiri.


Ratnagiri site of a Buddhist Temple.
Stupa of donation at Ratnagiri site.


Remains of a monastery at Lalitagiri site.
Statues of Buddha at Lalitagiri.


Landscape at Lalitagiri.
Street in twilight.

Feb. 28: Visited Hindu Temples in Bhubaneswar, the inscription of Emperor Asoka in Dhauli and the temple town of Puri. Stayed in Konarak.

Inside of the Mukteshvara Temple.
Mukteshvara Temple in Bhubaneswar.


Vault of the Mukteshvara Temple.
Dhauli rock inscription of the edicts of Emperor Asoka.
  “All men are my children. Just as I seek the welfare and happiness of my children in this world and the next, I seek the same things for all men.” — from the Dhauli rock inscription.


Jagannath Temple in Puri.
On the street in Puri.

Mar. 1: Visited Surya (Sun) Temple at Konarak. Traveled to Calcutta and stayed there.

The sun rising above the Bay of Bengal.
On the Chandrabhaga beach near Konarak in the early morning.
  “Seven bay mares carry you in the chariot, O sun god with hair of flame, gazing from afar.” — from The Rig Veda.


Surya (Sun) Temple in the morning sunlight.
Wheel depicted on the base of Surya Temple.

Mar. 2: Stayed in Calcutta.

Mar. 3: Departed Calcutta home.

Last Updated: 06/Aug/2008