Vijayawada

Two rock-cut caves unearthed at Mustabada

A rock-cut cave on a hill at Mustabada near Vijayawada.  

Two rock-cut caves on a hill at Mustabada, a sleepy village on the outskirts of Vijayawada, were brought to light on Friday by volunteers of the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada & Amaravati (CCVA) as part of its campaign “Preserve Heritage for Posterity”.

These caves are known as Sitarama Gruha on the left side of the pathway to the Siva temple and the second the Siva temple itself.

“The villagers added Mahamandapa to the Siva Temple which looks like a modern one. The Sitarama cave, with a big open porch supported by two pillars at the front has walls on either side which forms a small vestibule and a square Sanctum Sanctorum,” said E. Sivanagi Reddy, CEO of the CCVA.

The wall on the left side of the cave is carved with life-size image of Trivikrama, an avatar of Vishnu with his entourage. “It is interesting to note that two sculptures of dwarapalakas standing in Tribhanga posture like those of the Nataraja cave at Mogalrajpuram,” said Mr. Reddy.

Mr. Reddy sensitised the villagers on the historical significance and heritage value of these caves. The village heritage activists Srinivas Choudary Medasani, Verapaneni Prabhakar and Subhakar Medasani, Secretary, Vijayawada Buddha Vihara, accompanied Mr. Reddy in his explorations.

He appealed the Department of Archaeology & Museums to protect these caves. Basing on the iconographic features and the style of art of Trivikrama and Dwarapala sculptures he dated the caves to 7th Century AD, the early phase of the Eastern Chalukyan rule.

He surmised that caves might have been chiselled during the Satavahana rule as rainy retreats of Buddhist monks.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 6:41:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/two-rock-cut-caves-unearthed-at-mustabada/article19327162.ece

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