Villagers appeal to Department of Archaeology and Museums officials
The Department of Archaeology and Museums officials held talks with local communities for the conservation of around 40 cents of land with a Buddhist monument here in Bantumilli mandal where a hemispherical stupa was unearthed in 2011.
In the absence of conservation at the 7th century site, it is in a dilapidated state and faces threat of encroachment. The villagers appealed to the authorities concerned for its protection and conservation. The main stupa of 10-metre diameter is being worshipped as a Sivalingam where a few Ayakas and Aramas have vanished from the existing site. In April 2012, the site adjacent to Munjuluru Government High school was declared a ‘Protected Monument’ under the AP Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act – 1960 (Act 7). The Department of Archaeology and Museums’ Vijayawada Technical Assistant B. Deepak Joe and his team members accompanied by a local INTACH member informed the locals that a security guard would be immediately deployed at the site to stop the digging activity.
The destruction of the existing remains, including the stupa, would be stopped at any cost, they told The Hindu. “A fence will be put up surrounding the 0.40 acre site and signboards describing the importance of the Buddhist site will be set up on a war footing,” Mr. Deepak Joe said. Expressing their happiness at the timely move from officials, the locals promised their support for conservation of the historical site.
With soil digging activity still rampant for construction activities, many pits within the Vajrayana period’s site sits mute witnesses to its destruction.
Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage Krishna District convener T. Rammohana Rao and another member Mohammed Silar participated in the talks with the villagers.
A fence will be put up surrounding the site, says a Department of Archaeology and Museums staffer