New Buddhist Site Found In Andhra Pradesh

India Journal, May 12, 2010

Rajampeta, India -- Remnants of a Buddhist settlement have been discovered by archaelogists in the hillock areas of Rajampeta in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadappa district.

Pieces of pottery, terracotta tiles and dressed stone slabs were discovered during the explorations conducted on the hillock—Konduru Tippa—by the officials of state archaeology department.

Remains of a ‘Vihara’, or Buddhist monastery, consisting of six shells, were found on the hillock. Remnants of a spoked stupa built on a rubble foundation were also found near the place.

Archaeologists are of the view that the foundations of brick pillars found at the site belonged to the early Satavahana period (200 BC to 250 AD).

However, a brick-built stupa of 66 feet diameter could be of a later period.

Scholars had believed so far that Buddhism never flourished in Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh.

But the current excavations at Konduru Tippa dismissed those earlier opinions.

In fact Buddhism had its firm grip at several sites in Rayalaseema region.

As per the available data, the Buddhist settlement must have flourished at the site for about 600 years between 1st century BC and 5th century AD Buddhists belonging to a particular sect called ‘Seliyas’ might have been the inhabitants of the region.

Seliyas were a Buddhists who settled only on hill-tops congenial for seclusion and meditation.