11 Feb 2018

Buddhist Site: Solampur, Bhadrak

Solampur Buddhist Site lost with the passage of time and now coming under the jurisdiction of Bhadrak district of Odisha, flourished during the Bhaumakaras. The neulapur grant of subhakaradeb mention this place as "solanapur mahavihar".

This small village has grown up over the ruins and mounds of an earlier existing Buddhist site, just on the opposite banks of river Baitarani from Jajpur, where one can find a whole lot of Buddhist images scattered all over, main place being the Raghunathjew temple in the middle of the village.

This site had a prolonged life up to 12th CE as evident from Ratnagiri inscription of Somabamsi king Karnadeba. The images from Buddhist pantheon such as Gautam Buddha, Tara, Jambhala, Abalokiteswara are found here, of whom some are worshiped and some are fixed on the niches of the temple.

A beautiful image of Gautam Buddha is found on the right side niche of the temple, which is in Bhumisparsa Mudra with a Mandala depicting eight important stages of his life with the Mahaparinirbana scene just above his head. This mandala cult is so popular in Odishan architecture.

The above image also holds an inscription of four lines on it's base with two lions on each side.

A beautiful image of Tara in standing position holding a lotus in the left hand occupies the side niche of the above image. It also has an inscription on the halo just over the head. Check the minutely carved details, from the hairdo to the facial expression. just amazing.

Some other images found on the niches of the Raghunathjew temple and the main deities of the temple, worshiped by the villagers. No one could tell why the temple is called Raghunathjew, because Sriram is not worshiped here.

* This blog is written by Supriya Mishra and she captured all these photographs.

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