Vijayawada

ASI gears up for excavations at Ghantasala

Buddhist stupa at Ghantasala village in Krishna district. Photo : T. Appala Naidu   | Photo Credit: T_ APPALA NAIDU

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is all set to conduct excavations on Ernampadu mound at Ghantasala village in Krishna district in the year 2015. The mound, where Buddhism flourished once, is spread in nearly two acres. Several Buddhist remains such as eight half-medallion pillars and the two sculpted feet of Buddha were unearthed at the mound during the earlier excavations done by the ASI.

In Ghantasala village, where ASI runs an exclusive museum to conserve the Buddhist remains and a Stupa, excavations were stopped with the demise of then Superintendent Archaeologist Mr. Jitendra Das. Mr. Das had led the excavations in 2008, during which complete formation and shape of the Buddhist stupa in the heart of the village was excavated in good condition.

In 1870-71, Boswell of the East India Company first reported Ghantasala as a Buddhist site and later Alexander Rea excavated the stupa partially.

“Our studies have proved the existence of Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 1st century A.D. at the Ernimpadu mound. We are gearing up for excavations of the mound in 2015,” ASI Deputy Superintendent Archaeologist D. Kanna Babu told The Hindu.

“Proposals to take up excavations have already been forwarded to the higher officials of the ASI,” he added. The mound lies geographically two kilometres from the stupa in Ghantasala.

The State government, in collaboration with the Centre as well as Japanese authorities, is considering developing a Buddhist tourism spot at Ghantasala, for which Rs. 9.4 crore is to be spent in the coming months.

“G. Ranganadha Babu, an NRI, has pledged 3.5 acres of land near village high school to develop the piece of land into a tourism attraction with focus on Buddhist tourism,” said G. Rama Krishna of Ghantasala village.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 5:53:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/asi-gears-up-for-excavations-at-ghantasala/article6676963.ece

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