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Andhra Pradesh: Amaravati
Amaravati, situated on the southern banks of Krishna River, previously known as Dharanikota or Dhanyakatak, was one of the important historical cities and was the capital of Mouryan dynasty. To recall the history of the place, it is important to watch the ruins of Mouryan edifices. The Buddhist cultures and traditions are quite prominent on the dotted historical substances and buildings. Amarabati was well known among the Buddha vihars of the ancient edge.
The Mahachaitya (Buddhist shrine), Deepala dinne, was the biggest evident of Buddha cultures and was built when Amarabati was under the control of the king, Ashoka. The height of the shrine is 32 meters where as the width is 49.30 meters. The shrine was reconstructed and revamped many times in the past. Some parts of the wonderful shrine were also added to increase its attractiveness. Interested pilgrims walk roundabout of one part of the shrine, that particular part is 5 meters wide and 4.5 meters high. This part of the shrine is an additional allurement which was not there previously. The rampart of the shrine is adorned with the life stories of Buddha.
The holy festival in Deepaladinne is a prime attraction for the spiritual throng. The marvelous architectures of the shrine are treats to the eyes. But most of the portions of the shrine are almost shattered and damaged now. The old glory of the shrine is not prominent anymore but the captivating sight that this site offers to the tourists and followers are still fascinating and commendable. The charm of the shrine was diminished in 18th century when the irresponsible local people had destroyed the major portions of the shrine.
Excavation in different places around Amaravati has revealed a number of striking sculptures which still look excellent for their architectural flairs. Shankaram, about two and half km from the city, is a chief place where from innumerable sculptures of old eras had been excavated. These astonishing sculptures are maintained and kept in the adjoining Amaravati museum. The sculptures which were excavated are also preserved in the museums of Chennai, Kolkata and London as well.
15 feet tall Amarlingeshwar Shiva temple, about 1 km from the prime shrine of Amaravati, is located on the banks Krishna River. It is believed that the idol of the Shiva was the third largest among the one stoned idols in India at that point of time. The name Amaravati is derived from the name of Amarlingeshwar temple. The festival observed in Amaravati during Shiva Ratri (night) is the major fiesta which entices pilgrims and tourists from faraway places.
How to reach: Avail a train to Guntur. Trains from various other cities of South India are going to Guntur. Amaravati is well connected to Vijayawada and Guntur by road.
Where to stay: Hotel Neelam, Hotel Hindusthan International, Satidhan Complex and Haritha Hotel.
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