Cultural Postcards + [South Asia]

India: Plan to develop Buddhist site at Chebrolu
As part of its endeavour to develop ancient sites in the region, the Archaeology and Museums Department has decided to transform the old Bhimeswara temple at Chebrolu in Guntur district into a tourist spot as precious Buddhist remains belonging to the first or second century A.D. were found adjacent to the temple.

Plan to develop Buddhist site at Chebrolu
Officials inspecting the site where a Buddhist remains were unearthed at
Bhimeswara Temple at Chebrolu in Guntur district [Credit: The Hindu]

Six railing posts of Buddhist Stupa each measuring five-foot high and 60 cms width along with several other precious remains were unearthed while carrying out digging works on southern side of the temple as part of the temple renovation works by the department a few weeks ago.

After further excavation, officials have found the railing posts depicting Lotus Medallions and a row of animals.

A few sculptures made of lime and marble stone carvings and an image of a mystical animal and ‘Yaksha’ were also found along with large bricks used for constructing the site.

“We have shifted sculptures to the Guntur museum for display while the railing posts would be put up near the temple to indicate that there was human habitation since second century A.D.,” said Archaeology Department Assistant Director K. Chitti Babu on Wednesday.

The villagers also wanted the department to erect the posts adjacent to the temple where Buddhist remains were found. Considering all these aspects, the department is planning to develop the area into a tourist site. The renovation of three temples, including Bhimeswara temple, was taken up at a cost of over Rs.1.4 crore. Plans have also been chalked out to construct a compound wall at the temple, said Mr. Chitti Babu.

He said Chebrolu was a territorial capital during Kakatiya dynasty and commander chief Ganapathi Deva was in-charge of the area. The site is 20 kms from Guntur, while over 70 kms from Vijayawada.

Author: M. Srinivas | Source: The Hindu [September 18, 2014]