Buddhist relics found on Krishna river bank

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Third century Buddhist relics have been found at Pondugula on the right bank of the Krishna River in the Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Buddhist pillars carved with half lotus medallions and floral designs, datable to the Ikshwaku times, were used as plinths of the basement of the Jalapeswara Temple built by the Vengi Chalukyas in 8th century AD.

Buddhist relics found on Krishna river bank
Jalapeswara temple [Credit: DC]

Noted archaeologist and CEO of the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada Mr E. Sivanagi Reddy said, “Pondugula village is on the right bank of the Krishna near Dache-palli in Guntur district. Dr M. Ravi Krishna, a Guntur-based literary historian, had explored the surroundings of the Jalapeswara Temple. I too visited the temple with him. For the first time we found Buddhist pillars used as plinths.”

The site is under the protection of Archaeological Society of India. Mr Sivanagi Reddy added that there were several Buddhist sites datable to the same period at Manchikallu, Goli, Rentala, Gurazala Kambampadu, Pedakdamagandla and Modugula within the vicinity of the present spot in Palnadu region, which is known as a Buddhist belt of the Ikshwaku time.

“Based on an inscription engraved on the one of the pillars of the temple, the temple was built by an expert sculptor named Kalgarabharana-charya (jewel among sculptors). One of the three pillars is damaged due to exposure to sun and rain,” he added. He said ASI was maintaining the temple well but stressed on the need to preserve the Buddhist pillars too.

Author: U Sudhakar Reddy | Source: Deccan Chronicle [July 13, 2016]

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