Sirpur monastery, (towards) Raipur, Jharkhand, IN

Raw data

Sirpur (lat. 21 degree 20 min N x 82 degrees 11 min E) is located on the right bank of the Mahanadi River about 53 miles from Raipur in Jharkhand, India. The site has sixth and seventh century associations with Hinduism and several temples. Its Buddhist associations have been identified since the late nineteenth century when Cunningham discovered a very large head of the Buddha on the site. Since that time Sirpur has yielded a large cache of Buddhist metal sculptures and a variety of ritual objects. Excavations have identified two monasteries. Both have large and well-developed sculpture. The first is an oblong building surrounding a courtyard, with a pillared interior verandah. Cells surround the courtyard and open onto the verandah. A chapel is located at the center of one end, opposite the entry gate. A staircase once led to an upper story. Kitchen and storage rooms adjoin the monastery. A tank is nearby.
This monastery was built in the second half of the seventh century and remained in use for alt least two centuries. The motifs of the carving place the monastery in the Mahayana tradition.
The second smaller monastery is located close the first one. It is a square building with a front porch, verandah, nine cells and hall for group activities.
The site has been particularly prolific in objects, including texts, cast bronze figures, and carved crystal. Of great interest is a Chinese coin of Kai Yuan (AD 713-741) which suggests a Chinese pilgrim at the site. Debala Mitra, Buddhist Monuments (Calcutta: M. Dutt Shishu Sahitya Samad, 1971) 102-103

Input by: Stewart Gordon 05 April 2015

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 26 May 2015

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Sirpur monastery, IN.

General location of the Sirpur monastery, IN.
Lat 21.344247 Long 82.177704
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2014.

Google Map link:,%20IN)&ll=21.344247,82.177704&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Sirpur monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India: Jharkhand

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 21.344247 Long 82.177704 - based on visual identification of the site of the Sirpur monastery in maps/satellite imagery, - tmciolek, 26 May 2015.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana - Mitra 1971:102-103

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • [missing data]

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • Two monasteries - Mitra 1971:102-103

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • Debala Mitra, Buddhist Monuments (Calcutta: M. Dutt Shishu Sahitya Samad, 1971) 102-103
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License