Ancient Buddhist site found in Amaravati [Art & Culture]
- A clue given by residents of Vaikunthapuram, located in the Amaravati region, led veteran archaeologist E. Siva Nagi Reddy to the remains of a 1st Century B.C. Buddhist site atop a hill in the village.
- Search yielded three mounds studded with brickbats and pottery in red colour. Mounds were formed on huge boulders on which brick-built stupa was raised.
- The bricks, used in the construction of stupas and viharas measuring 60x30x8 cm and 58x28x7 cm, invariably belonged to the Satavahana era (1st Century B.C.).
- Huge fragments of terracotta and brick tiles used to cover chaityas and viharas were also found.
- Further excavations revealed that the Buddhist monks relied for drinking water mainly on two tanks spread in an extent of half-an-acre and two rock-cut cisterns.
- The Buddhist remains like stupas, chaityas and viharas yielded on Vaikunthapuram hill show that Buddhism existed from 1st Century B.C. to the 5th Century AD, but later the region came under the influence of Saivism in the Vishnukundin era, and under Vaishnavites between the 13th and 17th century AD.