Buddhist stupa discovered in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district


Share post:

A hemispherical Buddhist stupa belonging to the Vajrayana period of Buddhism dating back to 6th and 7th Century A.D. was by chance unearthed by the Department of Archaeology of Andhra Pradesh last week following sighting of a large brick in the vicinity of a large mound in this village. 

A hexagonal Ayaka pillar with a square pedestal found on a mound in Munjuluru village of Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh [Credit: V. Raju/The Hindu News]

The 10-metre (diametre) main stupa is now in a dilapidated state, but is yet another Buddhist site to get added to the four major ones in the district. Due to tilling activity some of the outer structures like aramas and ayakas have vanished. Some of the sculptures, bearing a distinct resemblance to the Amaravathi School of sculpting designs, now adorn some common places of the villages as Hindu deities such as Jambala (Kubera). 

Vintage temple 

The villagers considered it a vintage temple of Lord Shiva in a barren land of about 1 acre on the village outskirts. The stupa with Ayaka pillars in a hemispherical shape was found adjacent to the Zilla Parishad High School. The village derives its name from Buddhist bikshus, whom the locals used to call ‘Munulu’ (sages) and thus the name Munuluru which over the years turned into Munjuluru. 

Additional Director of Archaeology and Museums K. Chitti Babu, who visited the site along with The Hindu team, said that the stupa belonged to the last phase of the Buddhism (Vajrayana Buddhism practised in Tibet and Mongolia). 

He said the barren area, covering many acres close to the stupa, was littered with Buddhist cultural remains. 

Conch shells 

The archaeologist also collected a number of red and black pottery, including rims in different shapes and sizes. The black, red and scarlet buffed ware, along with conical shaped bowls with heaps of lime conch shells used for plastering during the construction of the stupa, were collected and recorded by Mr. Babu. 

The stupa is built with bricks made of husk measuring 23 cm width, 7 cm height and 28 cm length — a typical Buddhist construction material of that period. One of the ayaka pillars, which is in octagonal shape, was perched on a square base. However, for the locals it is a dilapidated Shiva temple. The government will soon issue a notice seeking objections from the public to declaring the stupa a protected national monument.  

Author: J. R. Shridharan | Source: The Hindu [September 19, 2011]



Related articles

Aboriginal Australians co-existed with the megafauna for at least 17,000 years

Australia was once home to giant reptiles, marsupials and birds (and some not so giant), but the extinction...

Scientists Search Trove of Ice Age Fossils in Los Angeles

Ongoing excavations at the La Brea Tar Pits are revealing new details about life in Ice Age Los...

Massive turquoise trade network of ancient Pueblos revealed

About a millennium ago, the ancestral Pueblo Indians in the Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico obtained their...

Stone-built settlement dating to before last Ice Age discovered in Australia’s Dampier Archipelago

A team of researchers from The University of Western Australia which is exploring the mysteries of the National...

Colonial-era dams trigger parallel evolution of Connecticut fish

Decisions made by Colonial era settlers to dam Connecticut waterways triggered sudden and parallel evolutionary changes in two...

Augustan-era sculptures found near Rome

Archaeologists say they've uncovered an "exceptional" group of sculptures dating to the 1st century BC in a villa...

Titanic’s wreckage to come under UNESCO protection

Titanic's wreckage, which has remained at the bottom of the North Atlantic for 100 years, will now come...

Cosmic ‘barcode’ from distant galaxy confirms Nature’s constancy

Astronomers have precisely measured the strength of a fundamental force of Nature in a galaxy seen eight billion...