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Historical Description[]

Located in eastern India, Tamralipti was the ancient gateway for trade with southern and southeast Asia. Evidence of settlement at the site dates back to the Stone Age. It was formerly situated on the mouth of a river, but silting has left it far inland today.

The city was sometimes part of an independent kingdom but often fell under the rule of great empires like the Mauryan and Gupta. The Chinese monk Xuanzang, whose pilgrimage became the basis for the great classical novel Journey to the West, visited Tamralipti and described it as a prosperous port. It was also the point of departure for the successful Buddhist missions sent to Sri Lanka by the pious Mauryan ruler Ashoka. The missionaries brought with them a sapling from the Bodhi Tree, the sacred fig tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment.

History[]

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