Nuggets of history from Sannati village in Kalaburagi district

Left neglected for many years after it came to light through the ASI excavations in the 1990s, the ancient Buddhist site of Sannati on the bank of the Bhima River got a restoration project in 2022

Published - April 05, 2024 09:00 am IST

Major Buddhist centre during the Ashokan Empire

Historians believe that the Sannati Ranamandal [war zone] was a fortified area spreading over 210 acres, of which only a couple of acres have so far been excavated. The excavations suggested that the area was one of the major Buddhist centres that flourished with the active support of Emperor Ashoka. The areas came under the control of Shatavahanas after the Mouryas.

The Maha Stupa destroyed by natural calamities

The Maha Stupa, which measures nearly 22 meters in diameter and rose to a height of about 17 meters, is believed to have been developed in three constructional phases – Maurya, Early Satavahana and Later Satavahana periods stretching from 3rd Century BC to 3rd Century AD. The archaeologists believe that the Stupa was destroyed by natural calamities.

Devanampiye and Piyadasi, titles of Emperor Ashoka

The minor rock edict found at Maski town in Raichur district in 1915 convincingly established that Devanampiye and Piyadasi (‘beloved of the gods’ and ‘one with a benevolent gaze’) were the titles of Ashoka. Till then, the identity of Devanampiye and Piyadasi which were widely referred to in ancient inscriptions remained unknown.

A major education hub between 10th and 12th Centuries

The site of ancient Nagavi Ghatikasthana, which was often termed the Takshashila of the South by historians, is around 40 km away from Sannati. The Ghatikasthana, which had the status of a present-day university, was a major education hub during rulers of the Rashtrakuta and Kalyana Chalukya dynasties between the 10th and 12th Centuries.  

The Sannati Development Authority to conserve the antiquities

The Karnataka government established the Sannati Development Authority to conserve the antiquities retrieved during the excavation in Kanaganahalli and developed the ancient Buddhist site as a major tourist and pilgrimage destination. Karnataka Housing Board has built a museum building, dormitories, and staff quarters, but the museum building is not handed over to to ASI.

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