Vijayawada

Buddhist artefacts discovered in Chebrolu

Archaeologist K. K. Venkateswaralu examines a 'thoranam', discovered near Bheemeswara Swamy Temple at Chebrolu in Guntur District. Photo: By Arrangement   | Photo Credit: T VIJAYA KUMAR

A unique Buddhist ‘thoranam’ was unearthed during excavations at Bheemeswara Swamy temple here. The architrave panel, measuring 4.2 inches in length and 11 inches in thickness, was unearthed by freelance archaeologist and former ASI Documentation Officer K. Venkateswaralu.

“The discovery of the thoranam, placed in front of the Maha Stupa, and the earlier discovery of several Buddhist artefacts such as white marble pillars, ‘Harmika’, and bases indicate that the Maha Stupa at Chebrolu could have been a major Buddhist site of the Satavahana and Ikvakshu times,” Mr. Rao said.

The architraves were also found to be sculpted with ‘Jatakas’ and scenes from the life of the Buddha.

Mr. Rao had earlier discovered a number of huge light green marble pillars sculpted with half-lotus medallion designs with various animal motives indicating the existence of a congregation hall constructed for Buddhist monks during religious gatherings.

According to him, the artefacts found on the temple premises indicate that the Buddhist site could have extended from the southern side of the temple.

“I have also discovered a number of conical bowls, black and red pot shreds, giving credence to historical references to the existence of a Maha Stupa near the temple,” Mr. Rao said.

Chebrolu, a village with a hoary past, is being promoted as a major tourist destination. The village, once a thriving Buddhist centre next only to Amaravathi and Nagarjuna Sagar, was known as Tambrapuri during the Satavahatana period.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 6:08:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/buddhist-artefacts-discovered-in-chebrolu/article6450273.ece

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