VIJAYAWADA: Due to the concerted efforts of the officials of Archeology and Museums Department, Vijayawada, a Buddhist site each in Guntur and Krishna districts will soon be declared the ‘protected monuments’. One of the Buddhist sites is located atop Bhairavakonda Hillock at Vaikuntapuram village in Thullur mandal of Guntur district and the process for allotting the site to the archeology department is underway, archeology and museums assistant director K Chitti Babu has said.
“The revenue department will issue a ‘41 notification’ seeking objections over the land and ‘43 notification’ for the declaration later,” he explained. It may be recalled that the archeology department unearthed the remnants of a Buddhist monastery, dating back to pre-Sathavahana period, at Vaikuntapuram in March 2013. Following this, the officials sent a proposal asking the archeology and museums director to declare the hillock a protected monument, as per the Andhra Pradesh Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act-1960.
“During our exploration, we have found some stupa slabs, pot shreds (pottery fragment), grinding stone and roof tiles of Buddha Vihar, water chamber in U shape and bricks in large size (57X27X7cm). This site needs to be protected,” the AD added.
On the other hand, efforts are also on for declaring the Buddhist site at Pondugula village near Mylavaram in Krishna district as the protected monument. According to Chittibabu, they had unearthed the Buddhist site, belonging to second century AD, near Pondugula village in March last year. “We have found two big lime stone pillars with engravings of Lotus Medallions and bricks in a pit on the outskirts of the village, about 10 km from Mylavaram. The carvings on the pillar belong to Amravati School of Art.”
The site extending up to 10 acres is called Pattidibba, in local parlance. Huge bricks covered with mortar lay scattered around the site. The assistant director also observed that there is a need for taking up major excavation at the site in Munjuluru village of Krishna district where Buddhist remnants were unearthed in 2011.
Remnants of a Buddhist monastery, dating back to pre-Sathavahana period, unearthed atop Bhairavakonda Hillock at Vaikuntapuram village in Thullur mandal of Guntur dist in March 2013
Buddhist site, belonging to second century AD, unearthed near Pondugula village in March 2013