APR 27

Preliminary   > Art and Culture   >   Miscellaneous   >   Religion

Why in news?

  • Historians and biologists are campaigning to protect the ancient Buddhist site of Thotlakonda in Visakhapatnam, which is home to an estimated 90 species of birds

About Thotlakonda:

  • Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex is situated on a hill near Bheemunipatnam about 15 kilometres from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • The hill is about 128 metres above sea level and overlooks the sea.
  • The excavations here have established the existence of a Hinayana Buddhist complex which flourished 2000 years ago. To the south of the complex there is a tank which served as a water source to the inhabitants of the monastery.
  • The excavations reveal Satavahana dynasty lead and Roman silver coins indicating foreign trade; terracotta tiles, stucco decorative pieces, sculptured panels, miniature stupa models in stone, and Buddha footprints were also found.
  • The excavations also yielded twelve inscriptions in the Brahmi script.
  • Thotlakonda's peak activity was between the 2nd century BCE and the 2nd century CE owing to brisk Roman trade and religious missions sent abroad.
  • Thotlakonda came into existence along with nearby sites in Visakhapatnam like Bavikonda and Pavurallakonda.
  • The complex had arrangements for storing food, clothing, medicines and served as a religious cum academic centre.
  • Nikaya Buddhism appears to have been practiced here, including the worship of Gautama Buddha through symbols such as padukas and other material remains rather than using human representation.
  • Thotlakonda had declined by the end of the 3rd century.

Prelims Question

Thotlakonda, recently in news, is located in:
(a)Arunachal Pradesh
(b)Andhra Pradesh

Answer to Prelims question