Andhra Pradesh

Buddhist relic unearthed

Historians have a look at a Buddhist relic unearthed at Anamanaluru in Prakasam district.   | Photo Credit: KommuriSrinivas

A Buddhist relic has been unearthed by a group of indologists on the right bank of the Gundlakamma river at Anamanaluru village, near Korisapadu, in Prakasam district.

A group of historians led by Dr. E. Sivanagireddy, Buddhist Archaeologist and Chief Executive Officer, the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati (CCVA), examined the 3rd century A.D. relic during their visit to the sleepy village as part of ‘Preserve Heritage for Posterity’, an awareness campaign launched by the CCVA to bring to limelight artefact which remained in neglect in different parts of the State. The local limestone pillar measuring 1’-3”x 0’-9’’x8’.0” and 2’.0” feet below the ground level, is carved with half lotus medallions at the centre and top portions on all the four sides in the Amaravati school of Art of the Ikshwaku times.

It was an accidental find while uprooting eucalyptus trees in the agricultural field and erected it inside the Veerabhadra temple towards the north of the village. Dr. Reddy said that there might be a Buddhist monastery of which this pillar might be part of a Shilamandapa where Buddhist teachers offer regular discourses on the Dhamma of the Buddha.

The antique Buddhist pillar was found worn out due to weathering and active agricultural operations.

‘Ikshwaku style’

Dr. Sivanagi Reddy said that similar pillars carved in the Ikshwaku style are earlier noticed inside the Siva temple at Manikeswaram another village located on the Gundlakamma river bank, 3 km away from the present spot. Dr. Reddy said that he would like to take up a village–wise survey of Buddhist sites and monuments in Prakasam district and publish a book for the benefit of the research scholars.

In view of the archaeological and historical significance of the Buddhist pillar, he appealed to the officials of the State Archaeology and Museums Department, to take necessary action to protect it for posterity in the present site or shift to a nearby museum.

Deccan Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute (DACRI) Director K. Jitendra Babu and its members M. Virendar, Dr. D. Surya Kumar and Dr. S. Jaikrishna also took part in the exploration.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 4:43:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/buddhist-relic-unearthed/article28160055.ece

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