The National Emblem Ashok Chakra or the State emblem Poorna Kumbham have been derived from the internationally-acclaimed Buddhist sculptures of Amaravathi town in Guntur district, and popularising them through paintings goes a long way, says Acharya Nagarjuna University Vice-Chancellor V. Balamohanadas.

Formally inaugurating an exhibition of acrylic on canvas by Joint Director, Social Welfare, West Godavari, R. Mallikarjuna Rao, the Vice-Chancellor termed the effort as essential for the current generation, which knew very little about our heritage.

“Though not a professional painter, the government official has come up with a series of 16 paintings of 3 feet by 2 feet size along with an explanation on the importance of Buddhist sculpture, which got evolved into a specialised school of sculpting, now renowned the world over,” he said.

Tracing the history, he explained that Greeko-Roman art forms were prominently visible on the sculptures, which were put in place between 3 BC and 3 A.D.

Kala Chakra conducted by Lord Buddha himself at Amaravathi adds greater significance to the place and sculptures.

Mr. Rao, who has been sculpting the 120-ft Dhyana Buddha statue at Amaravathi, is a connoisseur of Buddhist art, sculpture and literature. The essence of sculptures of Amaravathi was fertile literature of Buddhism, its symbols, images, deities, opined Mr. Rao.

“The sculptures contain insignia of Buddhism, emblems of sovereignty, mythical animals, chariots, ornaments of men and women, gateways, along with furniture and utensils, which I have depicted in my paintings while showing Buddha in matching mudra,” Mr. Mallikarjuna Rao explained.

Expo in Hyderabad

Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad had given permission to Mr. Rao to display his works from May 22 to 29. After the Visakhapatnam exhibition being held at the Visakha Museum on the Beach Road, the exhibition would travel to Eldam's Road, Chennai, where it would be displayed at Sri Parvathi Gallery from June 14 to 19.

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