Buddhist Centers in Andhra Pradesh


The early half of this century saw the discovery of art objects that brought to light many Buddhist sites in Andhra Pradesh. Random excavations resulted in mass collection of sculptures, inscribed blocks, coins, relic caskets and the like. In recent years due to planned excavations at Nagarjunakonda, Amaravati-Dharanikota, Saliohundam, Dhulikatta, Kotilingala, Cudinallam, Chandavaram and Peddavegi, we are able to assess the constituents of the early historical cultures of this geographical area.

In Buddhism, places that are associated with Lord Gautam Buddha during his lifetime are considered extremely auspicious. They are the hottest destination when any Buddhist thinks of pilgrimage in India. A whole lot of Buddhist sites await to enthrall you on your visit to Andhra Pradesh which has an intrinsic charm that will bind you almost immediately.

A number of Buddhist temples and monasteries are spread over the whole of the state are held in great reverence by Buddhist community. Some of these temples and monasteries have gained international fame while others are important as local tourist attractions. These centers might include small towns and cities where Buddhism has flourished. The stupas, statues and caves are sure to instill in you a spirituality that is so unique to Buddhism.

The sites reveal an abundance of information and understanding about Buddhism of a bygone era. Undoubtedly, the Andhra< art style (Amaravati School of Art) finds creative expression in the Buddhist symbols that are used to depict Buddhist art and architecture in Andhra Pradesh.

Buddhist Centers in Andhra Pradesh



Adurru(Dubaraju Gudi)



The mound of Adurru is popularly known as the Dubaraju Gudi by the local people. Adurru is a renowned center of Buddhist interest in Andhra Pradesh and is a must visit site if you are out on a tour of Buddhist Centers in Andhra Pradesh. It situates itself on the west bank of the Vainetaya branch of Godavari River and is around 9.5 km from the Bay of Bengal. The small village of Adurru is quiet close to Nagaram which belongs to the east Razole Taluk of East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. People from far off places come to Adurru for a glimpse of a bygone era.

In 1953, the Archaeological Survey of India conducted excavations that brought to light, remains of stupas, chaityas and viharas. Amidst these, the focus is certainly on the Mahastupa built like a giant wheel is 17 feet in diameter with a raised platform. All the Buddhist remnants that have been dug out from here spread across an area of approximately 2.04 acres. The excavations also discovered artifacts like jars, troughs, dishes and bowls and of kaolin.

Chandavaram Buddhist site



Chandavaram is located on the right bank of Gundla Kamma River in the Pakasam district of Andhra Pradesh. The magnificent double-terraced stupa constructed on an elevated platform is of major attraction here. Twenty four exquisitely adorned Buddhist slabs have been discovered from the archaeological site of Chandavaram including some that are inscribed, dating back as long as 2nd BC to 2nd AD.

The Chandavaram Buddhist site is perched on a hillock known as Singarayakonda. Excavations have also unearthed viharas (a domicile for Buddhist monks), votive stupas, coins dating back to the Satavahana period, inscriptions in Brahmi, pottery in red and black, and other early cultural relics that are historically enlightening. The ruins of a monastic complex which includes a Maha Chaitya with a dome 1.6 meters high and a drum 60 cms wide, a three-winged vihara and two other monasteries inspire awe in among the tourists. The establishment has an abundance of remnants of Stupas, Chaityagrihas and Vihara complexes. The Chandavaram stupa is the first of its kind in Andhra Pradesh and stands next to Sanchi Stupa, in its grace and importance.

Dhulikatta



Dhulikatta is located in on the right bank of Hussainimiya Vagu in Peddapalli Taluk of Karimnagar District, Andhra Pradesh. A major Buddhist site with Buddhist stupas of the Satavahana period, Dhulikatta is one of the 30 walled cities that found mention in Megasthanes' travel account, the Indica. A Buddhist stupa on a mound and the Vihara dating as old as 2nd century BC has been unearthed here. The stupa have been found with ayaka platforms, embellished drum with sculptured veneer slabs and limestone slabs. The 3 day Satavahana festival in the month of January every year attracts tourists and mass gatherings from far off places.

Associated with the structures, the other relics that were excavated in Dhulikatta were gateways built of light bricks, Chatra, Buddhapada, Charmachakra Stupa, Mahastupas, residential houses, wells, bangle pieces, ivory combs, gold objects, punch-marked coins, beads, Roman and Satavahana coins and seals. Research states that forty-seven slabs were used to decorate the dome of the Stupa here.

Nagarjunakonda



Nagarjuna Sagar, formerly known as Vijaypuri, lies in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh and is one of the most visited destinations in the state. The site, dating back to 3 rd century AD, was a major centre for Buddhist learning and went on to become the capital of Ikshvaku kingdom. The first excavations were made in 1926 when a number of Buddhist monuments were discovered. But the major excavation followed for seven years continuously in the 1950s during the construction of the Nandikonda Project. The remains from the submergence due to construction of the dam across the River Krishna are now preserved in the Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Site in open air as well as in an extensive museum.

The Buddhist saint Acharya Nagarjana lends his name to Nagarjuna Sagar. The excavations have brought to focus the Mahachaitya, the most sacred of the Stupas that is believed to preserve the sacred relics of Lord Buddha. Excavations have discovered the remnants of a University, Vihara, Monasteries and an "Aswamedha" sacrificial altar, as well as prehistoric tools. The serene monolithic statue of the Buddha is one of the major attractions in Nagarjuna Konda.



Last Updated on 29 March 2013