Andhra Pradesh

‘Kondaveedu Buddhist remains date back to Satavahana period’

Officials of the Department of Archaeology and Museums measuring stupa width found at Kondaveedu fort on Monday.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

The Department of Archaeology and Museums has found Buddhist remains under the ‘garbhagriha’ (sanctum sanctorum) of Sivalayam at Kondaveedu fort. The remains date back to later Satavahana period--1st to 2nd century A.D.

The department has taken up conservation and restoration of two temples — Sivalayam and Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple — in the fort recently. The department officials found the remains during the process of dismantling the temple for reconstruction. A petal design on railing piece, stupa, pillar etc were unearthed from the site.

Interesting facts

Department of Archaeology and Museums Commissioner G. Vani Mohan says the discovery of the ‘Buddhist remains’ push back the hoary past of the historic Kondaveedu fort to the Satavahana period. Now the history of Kondaveedu fort has to be rewritten as it goes back to the Satavahana period.

The study and conservation of the ‘Buddhist remains’ are under way. Much more interesting facts would come to light when the exercise was done. The department would construct Sivalayam separately and conserve the ‘stupa.’ The restoration works were being done with an expenditure of about ₹80 lakh, she said. A few freelance archaeologists recently said that the stupa was built during the Ikshvaku period, that is the third century A.D. But, the department officials, however, concluded that the remains were much older. “Based on the architectural remains and inscriptional evidence it belongs to Satavahana period and the existence of Buddhism on Kondaveedu fort area,” says Deputy Director N. Mallikarjuna Rao.

One small fragment of Brahmi inscription was found in the stupa remains. Based on this inscriptional evidence, it emphasises that Buddhism existed on Kondaveedu fort from Satavahana period. It has eight letters i.e.. ‘gha ra kha tha sa a thae vaa.’

Department Assistant Director Phalguna Rao, who is part of the team, says that a small Buddhist stupa in circular shape built with limestones with inner diameter of 13 feet was found after dismantling garbhagriha. One part of Ayaka pillar, which is octagonal shape, was found near the stupa. Railing panel having man riding a bull and a horse, with lotus designs, tiny floral motif, railing piece man raiding Bull and horse, floral design in between, half lotus medallion, groove on railing pillar, tiny floral motif were some of the remains that were unearthed from the site, he adds.


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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 7:07:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/kondaveedu-buddhist-remains-date-back-to-satavahana-period/article26115108.ece

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