Mahachaitya Amaravathi

Amaravati Mahachaitya is one of the most prominent sites of Buddhist pilgrimage in south India ; so important is this monument that the Dalai Lama paid a visit a few years ago and tied prayer flags on the railing surrounding its circulatory path. The structure is reminiscent of the gompas in the Himalayas.

Locally, the mahachaitya is known as Dipaladinne (meaning hill of lights).Visible from several places in town the Dhyan Buddha statue in Amaravati is 125ft high. Buddha is depicted  in the dhyana position and the statue rests eight pillars, representing the Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Under the statue is a museum, which houses several Buddhist sculptures.

Significance

The Archaeological Museum in Amaravati houses relics uncovered in the various excavations that were primarily done at mahachaitya.The museum has three ga11eries and a model of the stupa can be seen in the courtyard. A few antiques collected from several other Buddhist sites in AndhraPradesh are also on display.

There is also an imposing, life-size statue of Buddha here. Other sculptures in the museum include that of Yakshi, Bodhisattva Padmapani and shalabhanjika (stylised statues of women). Also on display are coins and beads recovered from Dharanikota, several dome and drum slabs, terracotta figurines, pottery and carved pillars.photography is strictly prohibited in the museum.

Visible from several places in town the Dhyan Buddha statue in Amaravati is 125ft high. Buddha is depicted  in the dhyana position and the statue rests eight pillars, representing the Eightfold Path of Buddhism.

History

It was discovered and made famous by Colonel Colin Mackenzie in 1797. After its discovery, several European officia showed interest in the sculptures found at the site and even tried to excavate the structure. The lowest stratum of excavations here revealed black and red ware and northern black polished ware, hinting at the age of the stupa. The excavations also yielded stone tools, dating the mahachaitya sites back to prehistoric times.The sculptures that were excavated at the mahachaitya were displayed in the Madras Museum and British Museum in London.

Amaravati's recorded history can be dated back to the time of Mauryan emperor Asoka. Asoka's thirteenth rock edict mentions Andhra and hints at this particular mahachaitya's existence.

Photos

How to Reach

The nearest airport is 47 KM from Amaravati.

Vijayawada junction serves as the nearest junction to Amaravathi which lays just 32 km away. You can easily avail a bus or taxi from here till the destination.

If you are commuting to the town via road, your first stop will be Guntur which is further connected to Amaravathi via a well-maintained network of road. From here, private as well as government buses can be easily availed.

Best time to visit

  1. jan

  2. feb

  3. mar

  4. apr

  5. may

  6. jun

  7. jul

  8. aug

  9. sep

  10. oct

  11. nov

  12. dec

Best time to visit is from January to December

Timings: 6.00 AM To 6.00 PM

Highlights

Pedakakani: This village is famous for the Kakani Malleswara Swamy Temple, which was constructed during the rule of the Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya. 

Chebrole: It is said that there were around 1,000 temples in Chebrole long ago. Once you reach Chebrole, the possibility of the same doesn't seem unlikely as you will be able to see a temple in every direction you look.

Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: Migratory birds from various countries such as Serbia and Australia flock to the Uppalapadu

Undavalli Caves: The caves have been cut from the northern slope of a hill and have three levels.

Mangalagiri: Located in the Guntur district, Mangalagiri is a town synonymous with the gorgeous sari of the same name that is made here.

Amareswara Swamy Temple: The temple in Amaravati, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the pancharama kshetras in Andhrapradesh.

© 2019 AP Tourism Authority