If one will visit once this place, can very well imagine that from where the famous temple architecture of Odisha sprang up, because it has got striking resemblances with all the later phase temples constructed in Odisha..
This site flourished from 5th CE, or from little earlier until 16th CE through different phases and can only be compared with nalanda, even the architecture in many ways excels the later and the exquisitely carved chlorite doorframe of monastery 1 is the most splendid of it’s kind..
By far remnants of three monasteries, eight temples, a large stupa and an overwhelming no of smaller votive stupas along with broken sculptures, images of divinities and seals with inscriptions found from this place which shows the popularity of this place during that period..
The numerous colossal Buddha heads found here are not only awe-inspiring but also raises curiosity about what would be the actual height of those individual images..and it is also proved that these images were not brought from outside but carved out from stones at this place only.
You can also find here numerous life sized images of both male and female divinities of buddhist pantheon. Tara being the exclusive deity..others includes abalokiteswar, manjusri, arya saraswati, marichi, jamuna and bodhisattvas etc in large numbers..
The panel depicting Jamuna standing on her mound, the tortoise, with her two attendants on both sides..
The exquisitely carved entrance of monastery 1..
Some beautifully carved out motifs on stone which shows resemblances with the later phase odishan temples..the first picture depicts a war scene.
Two of the most discussed sculptural motifs of odishan temples also found at this place..a lion crouching over an elephant(first pic)depicted below the lotus seat of jata mukuta Lokeswara & the other one, an warrior riding over a lion(2nd pic)on d back slab of seated buddha..!!
The Close up and life size image of Padmapani..how intricately it is carved..!! Look at the necklace he is wearing.. is that made of ivory..!! And the crown also, it looks magnificent with that popular lion motif..
Astonishingly a large no of(around 700) small stupas found here at difrent places.some opine it as a Cemetery whr these stupas r built ovr bodily remains of buddhist teachrs who lived ther, wheras othrs say tht these r votive stupas donatd by followers aftr their wishes fulfilled
And finally Lord Buddha in bhumisparsa mudra inside the sanctum of monastery 1..the already set sun and approaching darkness helped my camera to capture such a glowing pic of tathagata himself..
You can find the whole thread in twitter at https://twitter.com/mishra9_supriya/status/956201471892111361