Three-month archaeological exploration at Uppugundur in Prakasam district

Archaeological Survey of India Hyderabad Circle, during a three-month archaeological exploration and scientific digging, has discovered a 1st century A.D. damaged stone statue of Buddha in the midst of a votive stupa, encircled by a prakara.

Superintending Archaeologist R. Krishnaiah told that it took up the work in January to expose the civilisation of early centuries and chanced upon the discovery of a votive stupa, encircled by a prakara, made out of locally available tiles and dressed stone planks and viharas – that is dwelling places of Buddhist monks and broken images of torso and face of lord Buddha.

A systematic and thorough exploration and excavation also resulted in the discovery of semi-precious stone beads, a few Ikshavaku coins, earthen ware, a good number of pottery that includes black, red slipped ware and red ware etc. along with fragmented shell bangles, said Mr. Krishnaiah.

Prominent discovery of these diggings is the robust torso figure of Lord Buddha and it proves that Uppugundur enjoyed a high reputation by the way of residence of several Buddhist monks during 1st and 3rd century A.D. It adds a new vista into the Buddhist ideology research, he opined. Deputy Superintending Archaeologist D. Kannababu supervising the excavation said the structural activity is quite different from the normal procedure that was adopted in construction of Buddhist structures in Lower Krishna Valley. These structural activities belonged to two different cultural chronological periods – the earlier one is Satavahana 1st century A.D. and the later is of Ikshvaku period 3rd century A.D. Currently only part of the mound has been excavated. The site is located between Uppugundur and Chinna Ganjam in Prakasam district on the banks of a rivulet of Gundlakamma stream.

Keywords: ASIBuddhist stupa