Andhra Pradesh Buddhist Circuit (7 Days/6 Nights) Package

Buddhism reached the Telugu country during the life time of Buddha itself.Though Buddhism reached the Telugu Country in 5th Century BC,its rapid spread started with the reign of emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC when the Telugu country became part of his imperial territories.During this time the construction of the Maha stupa at Dhanyakataka Amaravathi, Bhattiprolu and several other monastic establishments at Guntupalli, Salihundam, Sankaram(Sangharama) etc., came into being. A comprehensive record of both major and minor rock edicts of Asoka at Erragudi in Kurnool district bears testimony to this. As Buddhism flourished till the 7th Century AD, all the Buddhist sites in Andhra Pradesh went through the three phases of Buddhism viz., Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana; the evidence of this evolution can be clearly seen at many Buddhist sites.

Description

TOUR SCHEDULE:

  • Hyderabad to Nagarjunakonda – 180Km (4 Hrs)

Arrive and Pick up at Hyderabad Airport and transfer to Nagarjunakonda.On arrival check-into the Hotel.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

  • Nagarjunasagar to Vijayawada – 200Km (3.30 Hrs)

Start the day tour of Nagarjunakonda and Adupu. Then drive to Amaravathi(New capital city of Andhra Pradesh State) for sightseeing of ancient Buddhist stupas and monuments. Later proceed to Vijayawada and on the way visit Undavalli Buddhist caves. Check-in to your hotel at Vijayawada.

Visiting Places Information:

Nagarjunakonda is a historical Buddhist town (About 1700 years ago), now an island located near Nagarjuna Sagar in Guntur district/Nalgonda district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is 150 km south east of the capital, Hyderabad. It was formed when a hill was submerged in the waters of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, constructed in the 1960s. It is one of India’s richest Buddhist sites, known in the ancient times as Sri Parvata. Nagarjunakonda, meaning the hill of Nagarjuna, was named after the Buddhist scholar and savant Acharya Nagarjuna who lived around the turn of the 2nd century AD..A buddhist museum is situated on the entire island in the Nagarjunasagar dam. A.R. Saraswathi, in 1926, discovered this glorious place who was a researcher in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Further excavations carried out by ASI in the valley uncovered ruins of a university, viharas (monasteries), sacrificial altars, royal baths, marble carvings and sculptures. It is situated in Macherla Mandal of the District of Guntur.

Formerly known as Andhra Nagari (Amaravati), this is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the country. Acharya Nagarjuna built India’s largest stupa here more than 2000 years ago. Considered to be the most sacred pilgrim centre for Buddhists in South India, Amaravati is 33 km from Vijayawada . Amaravati is considered the most sacred pilgrim centre for Buddhists in South India. An Archaeological Museum (ASI) is located here in Amravati.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

  • Vijayawada to Ghantasala – 60Km (1:30 Hrs)

After breakfast you leave for Ghantasala and then to Bhattiprolu. In Ghantasala village you find the remains of Buddhist sculptures and a Buddhist stupa. These Buddhist attractions were found in the year 1919-20 and now attract a large number of tourists from all over. Later you will return back to Vijayawada hotel for the night stay.

Visiting Places Information:

The stupa or the Maha Chaitya discovered in Ghantasala village is particularly singular in its design. It is a cubical block of bricks exhibiting 12 zodiac signs. The dome of the stupa was once decorated with around 47 slabs showing the Buddha. Interestingly, some of these slabs, today, adorn the shelves of the museums in Paris. However, there are still a commendable collection of Buddhist statues and art in the museum of Ghantasala village. You can see these during your Buddhist tourism to Ghantasala. Also to be seen here are Roman gold coins and Satavahanas coins.

Bhattiprolu is most known for its stupa, the Chinna Lanja dibba and Vikramarka kota dibba. Excavation undertaken in the year 1870 unearthed three mounds while the one carried out in 1892 led to the discovery of three inscribed stone relic caskets containing crystal caskets, relics of Buddha and jewels. The diameter of the stupa measures around 40 m with an additional basement of 2.4 m wide running all around. The most important discovery is the crystal relic casket of sarira dhatu of the Buddha from the central mass of the stupas.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

  • Vijayawada to Guntupalli village in W.G. Dist – 100 Km (2 Hrs)

After breakfast you leave for  Guntupalli village in west godavari district. Guntupalli is dotted with some of the finest specimens of monolithic and structural Buddhist remains datable to the 3rd-2nd century BC to 5th-6th century AD. The important monuments located are: rock cut temple or vritta chaitya, large monastery, small monastery, brick chaitya, ruined mandapa, stone stupa and cluster of votive stupas.

  • Guntupalli village in W.G. Dist to Adurru – 150 Km (3 Hrs)

Adurru is believed to be a prominent Buddhist site in South India since ancient times. The excavations carried out here have brought to light various facts. The popular Buddhist stupa present here is believed to be constructed during the period of Emperor Ashoka and it was called as “Mahakshetram”. The Maha stupa has been declared as a protected monument by Archaeological Department of India. The place also has a foundation stone laid by Ashoka’s daughter Sanghamithra while travelling to Sri Lanka. She was a Buddhist nun and lived for 59 years.

  • Adurru to Dindi Resort – 25 Km (40 Min)

Check-in to your hotel. Have dinner and enjoy the comforts of the resort.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

  • Dindi Resort to Sankaram – 250Km (4 Hrs)

After breakfast check out of hotel and drive to Visakhapatnam. Have lunch in Kakinada city and then proceed for Sankaram (Bojjannakonda). Later continue the journey to Visakhapatnam. Check-in to the hotel after reaching Visakhapatnam.

Visiting Places Information:

A Britisher Alexander Rea unearthed Sankaram, a 2000-year-old Buddhist Heritage site in 1907. Located 40 km from South of Vizag, locally it is known as Bojjannakonda. The three phases of Buddhism, Hinayana, Mahayana & Vajrayana flourished here. This complex is famous for its numerous Monolithic Votive Stupas, Rock cut caves, and brick build structural edifices. Excavations yielded several historic potteries, Satavahana coins dating back to the 1st century A.D. several clay tablets bearing figures of Buddha etc. Bojjannakonda, the Eastern one bears richer architecture of the two hills. It presents a picturesque appearance with its Main Stupa on the hilltop and dominating myriads of stupas, mostly rock-cut and rarely brick-built, one above the other.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

  • Visakhapatnam to Salihundam – 140Km (2.5 Hrs)

After breakfast start on a scenic drive to Salihundam . On return visit Ramatheertham, Pavurallakonda, Bavikonda and finally Thotlakonda.

Visiting Places Information:

Salihundam is a village and panchayat in Gara Mandal of Srikakulam district. It is situated on the south bank of River Vamsadhara at a distance of 5 kilometers west of Kalingapatnam and 18 kilometers from Srikakulam town. It was known as ‘Salivatika’ (meaning rice emporium). But many called it ‘Salyapetika’ (meaning box of bones or relics). There are a number of Buddhist stupas and a huge monastic complex on a hillock amidst scenic surroundings.

Ramatheertham is the home to the ancient and famous temple of Ramachandra Swami that is said to be about 1000 year old. Ramatheertham is also famous as Buddhist sites with some evidences found in this region. On a black hill known as Gurubukhta konda near this temple, you can see the remains of a large Buddhist Mahastupa about 19 feet high and 65 feet in diameter. There is also a monastery, Chaitya, Monastic cells, two votive Stupas, a solid stone stupa, an enclosed courtyard and a pillared hall on this hill.

The Buddhist Complex on the hill-top of Mangamaripeta, locally known as Thotlakonda lies about 16Kms from Visakhapatnam on Vizag-Bheemili beach road. It is picturesquely located on the hilltop at about 128ft height. The existence of Buddhist site at Thotlakonda came to light during an aerial survey undertaken by the Indian Navy. 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. The excavations that lasted from 1988 to 1992 have exposed structural remains. These remains are classified as A) Religious, B) Secular and C) Civil. These structures include the Stupa, Chaityagrihas, pillared congregation halls, bhandagaras, refectory (bhojanasala), drainage and stone pathways etc.

Bavikonda, an important Buddhist heritage site located on a hill about 15kms., northeast from Visakhapatnam city. Here the Buddhist habitation is noticed on a 40 acres flat terraced area. Bavikonda in Telugu means a hill of wells. A Hinayana school of Buddhism was practiced here. Bavikonda Monastery flourished between 3rd Century B.C., and 3rd Century A.D., The discovery of relic caskets in Mahachaitya is significant. Bavikonda has remains of an entire Buddhist complex, comprising 26 structures belonging to three phases. A piece of bone stored in an urn recovered here is believed to belong to the mortal remains of the Buddha. It also contains large quantity of ash, charcoal, and earthenware. Three abandoned water tanks were also found on this hillock.

After breakfast check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport.

  • 5 Nights deluxe accommodation on twin share basis.
  • Breakfast,lunch and Dinners.
  • All sightseeing and transfers by SIC basis.
  • All tolls and taxes

 

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