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Tourist Places- Visakhapatanam
Buddist sites, Bavikonda
Ancient Buddist sites are all around surronded Visakhapatnam, most of which have been excavated recently . The imprint of Buddhist legacy is so strong here that the interest of archeologists in this area is growing by the day.
Bavikonda in Telugu means a hill of wells.Buddhist heritage destination Bavikonda, on the North west of Timmapuram. Bavikonda stands as one of the ancient sanctified Buddhist centres in Asia. Bavikonda came into existence due to the path, which leads to the beach road of Bheemunipatnam (Bhimli) where the existence of wells along the hill accumulates rainwater, which is used for the purpose of drinking. Bavikonda lay along the ancient trade route which connected Andhradesa with North India through Kalinga.
Its altitude is 138 mt. A small area of about 40 acres flat-terraced land, which is filled with Buddhist occupancy. It is said that Buddhist monasteries flourished here during the period of 3rd Century B.C. and 3rd Century A.D. Bavikonda is left with a Buddhist compound where about 26 structures in three phases can be evidently seen. It is said that one can trace the existence of Buddhism with its earthly remains of a bone piece piled within an urn. The artifacts recovered here include Roman coins and satavahana coins apart from pottery dating back to 3rd century BC and 2nd Century A.D.
Excavations on the hill-top brought to light an extensive Buddhist establishment consisting of a Mahachaitya, stupas, chaityagrihas, a congregation hall, platforms, viharas, kitchen-cum-store complex, pottery, relic caskets, tiles, stuccos, iron objects, moulded bricks, coins etc.
The settlement consists of two kinds of structures — religious and secular. Religious structures include stupas, chaityagrihas, assemblage and platforms. Secular constructions include viharas, kitchen, stores etc. Hinayana school of Buddhism was practiced at Bavikonda. It contained large quantities of ash, charcoal, bone and earthenware which probably were the remains of Gautama Buddha. This proves that Buddhist civilization seems to have flourished in Southern India once upon a time.
Visit this attractive destination that informs you about the Buddhist establishment in Bavikonda.
Situated about 10 km from Visakhapatnam
Pavuralakonda
'Hill of Pigeons', Pavuralakonda or Narasimhaswamy Konda is at a height of 168mts above sea level and is covering an area of 10 to 12 acres. Located to the west of Bhimli or Bheemunipatnam which is about 24 km. from Vizag. Excavations of the site believed to be dated between 3rd C. B.C. and 2nd C. A.D, revealed nearly 14-16 rock-cut troughs or cisterns used for collecting rainwater, foundations of viharas, with cells and common verandah, circular chaityagrihas, votive stupas, halls etc. The river Gosthani which served as navigation canal for inland trade in the early centuries of the Christian era, flows nearby Pavuralakonda.
Sankaram Buddhist Excavations
The village known for its 3rd and 4th century Buddhist constructions, Sankaram near Anakapalli, 38 km from Visakhapatnam. It is believed that constructions situated on two small hillocks, are to be made during Mahayana period. Numerous rock- cut stupas and sanctuaries cut into the sides of the hill with several Buddha images are present on the hills, Bojjanakonda and Lingalakonda has a monastery. The hillock has few plain and small caves on it, which formed the Viharas
(shelters) for the monks and students. An archeologists delight have excavated several antiquities like the seals, inscribed tablets, pots, copper coins mostly of seventh century AD are found in the site.
The three phases of Buddhism. i.e Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana 2000-year-old Buddhist Heritage site which was excavated under the aegis of Alexander in 1906, is that it shows all unique feature of Bojjannakonda. The imposing figures of the Buddha, seated in a meditation-posture and the stupa are the main here. The main stupa was first carved out of rock and then encased in bricks. The hillock Lingalakonda, is located to the west of Bojjannakonda
Sankaram is a small village over six Kilometers from Anakapalli.
Thotlakonda
The hill-top of Mangamaripeta, locally known as Thotlakonda is famous for the Buddhist Complex. The existence of Buddhist site at Thotlakonda came to light during an aerial survey undertaken by the Indian Navy.Also known as 'the Hill of Eagles", the complex has a number of stupas, Chaityas, Viharas, a congregation hall and a refectory belonging to the Himayana School, mostly excavated during1982-92 It is located on the apex of the hill at about 128 mt, overlooking the sea. After its discovery, the Government of A.P has declared the site measuring an area of 120 acres on the summit as protected monument during 1978.
Major excavations have been conducted by the Andhra Pradesh State Archaeology Department during 1988-1992. A) Religious, B) Secular and C) Civil These remains as classified. Stupa, Chaityagrihas, pillared congregation halls, bhandagaras, refectory (bhojanasala), drainage and stone pathways etc are contributed to this structures. The complex comprises of one maha stupa, 16 votive stupas, a stone-pillared assembly hall, 11 rock-cut cisterns, well-placed stone pathways, a apsidal chaitya-griha, three circular chaitya-grihas, two votive platforms, 10 viharas constituting 72 cells, a kitchen complex with three halls and a refectory etc. Unearthed several inscribed chatra pieces with early Brahmi letters, nine Satavahana and five roman silver coins, terracotta tiles, stucco decorative pieces, sculptured panels, miniature stupa models in stone, Buddha padas depicted with asthamangal symbols, early historic pottery etc are also associated with the above structures.
By the middle of the 3rd century AD, the monastery started to decline and gradually fell into disuse. At present, conservation and other essential works are being undertaken to make it an attractive tourist destination.
on lies about 16Kms from Visakhapatnam on Vizag Bheemili beach road.
Gopalapatnam
Gopalapatnam is the entire village that appears to have been built on ancient habitation.Situated on the left bank of river Thandava in Payakaraopeta Mandal of Visakhapatnam district. Stone veneered stupas, Brick built stupas, viharas, title and early historic pottery were noticed in side the village, in course of exploration in and around the village as also on the hill ranges, locally known as ‘Budhikonda’, ‘Seethammakonda’, ‘Burolametta’ and ‘Veerulametta’. It lies about 10 Km. south of Tuni railway station
 
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