Some 8 km southeast of Konark Sun Temple, there is located a small village in Puri, Kuruma. Kuruma is a popular Buddhist heritage site in Odisha and is known for proffering a great insight to the Buddhism culture of the state. Believed to be built in 9th-10th centuries, the place was first located by Shri Barajabandhu Das who was a school teacher. Between the time period of 1971 and 1975, an excavation project was carried out at Kuruma by Odisha State Archaeological department. Before this time period, a stone slab was found here that contained an idol of Lord Buddha in bhumisparsha mudra. Apart from this, a couple of more statues were recovered near the pond. The finding of these statues led to the excavation period. It is said that once there existed a Buddhist Monastery which was also referred by Hiuen Tsang.
This Buddhist monastery has twelve blocks with a height of 34 m each including three blocks in each cardinal direction. It also has Buddhist monks cells and a shrine chamber and a large courtyard with a shape of ‘Swastik’. Though the place is abandoned now, it is still worshipped by locals. At present, the site has a small temple with three Buddhist idols. The first is Buddha seating in a bhumisparsha mudra (crossed legs) with the left hand on the knee. Whereas, the other two are Padmapani Avalokiteshvara and Revanata that are places near the water tank. The locals of Kuruma worship all the three images as ‘Yamadharma’.
Best Time to Visit
The months from October to March (winter) are considered as the best time to visit Kuruma as during this time weather remains pleasantly cool and makes sightseeing easy in the region.
How to Reach?
Kuruma village is located on Konark-Kakatpur road about 8 km southeast of Konark Sun Temple. One can hire a taxi from Konark Sun Temple to Kuruma, which would hardly half an hour to reach here.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
- Shree Jagannath Temple: Being a part of Hindu pilgrimage circuit of Char Dhams, Shree Jagannath Temple is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the state. From Kurum, Jagannath Temple is located at a distance of 51 km. The temple dates back to the 12th century and is devoted to Lord Jagannath, another form of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna.
- Konark Sun Temple: An incredible monument of religious importance that traces its history from the 13th century, Konark Sun Temple is constructed in the shape of a huge chariot consisting of twelve wheels and seven horses. Located just at a distance of 8 km from Kuruma, the temple boasts a masterclass of Kalinga style of architecture.
- Puri Beach: Evidently, one of the star attractions of Odisha, Puri Beach is located on the exotic coastlines in the city of Puri, Odisha. This beach is an ideal destination in Odisha for all those who wish to spend some relaxing hours amidst serene nature. The distance between Puri Beach and Kuruma is 43 km.
- Swargadwar Beach: The famous sage of Vaishnava cult, Sri Chaitanyadev used to take bath at Swargadwar, and thus, this beach holds an important religious significance in the hearts of devotees. Here, a dip in the holy waters of the sea is believed to cleanse the soul and sins of an individual. Swargadwar Beach is located at a distance of 46 km from Kuruma.
- Chandrabhaga Beach: Another coastal stretch with a religious significance in the Puri district is Chandrabhaga Beach which is located at a distance of 10 km from Kuruma. In the Hindu month of Magha (January-February), a seven-day festival is celebrated at this place which is the most talked-about attraction of this place.
- Archaeological Museum: An ideal place for all the history buffs visiting the heritage attraction of Kuruma in Puri district of the state Odisha, Archaeological Museum is a repository of historical stone sculptures and antiquities from ancient times. In total, the museum has six galleries with great assortments of various arts, artefacts, and sculptures.