43km west of Vijayawada on the lower Krishna Valley is located the famous Buddhist site of Amravati which had become an important centre of Buddhism at least as early as 3nd century BC and served as the capital of the Satavahana empire of the Deccan which ruled for four or five centuries. According to some Puranas, sacred texts of Hinduism, this dynasty produced 19 rulers whose reign lasted for 300 years, while according to another school of thought, 30 kings of the dynasty ruled for 465 years. The Satavahana dynasty came to an end about the middle of the third century A.D.
Amaravati is known for its exquisite art and structural monuments. The sculptures produced at Amravati were in demand in Sri Lanka and South-East Asia. Some of the can be seen in London’s British Museum and Chennai’s Government Museum.
Places of attractions in Amravati
The remains of the Great Stupa is the most remarkable among the ruins of Amravati. The stupa, the construction of which started in the 3rd century BC, was completed in 200 AD in its final form. At that time it was India’s biggest stupa. Larger than the Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh, the Amravati stupa was adorned with carved panels depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha and was surrounded with free-standing statues of the Buddha during the Satavahana period in the 2nd-3rd century AD. The relief medallions showing ecstasy and vitality are among the greatest works of ancient Indian art.
Statues of the Buddha found in Amaravati belong to the Gandhara school of art. The 38m-high Dhyana Buddha statue is another major find in Amravati.
How to Reach Amaravati
Air: The nearest airport to Amaravati is Vijayawada which is 51 km from this Buddhist site in Andhra Pradesh. You can find taxis and other means of transportation from the airport to reach Amaravati.
Rail: The nearest railway station to Amaravati is Vijayawada Junction, which is 64 km away from Amaravati. One can get buses and taxis to reach Amravati.
Road: a good network of road connects Amaravati to all the nearby places via Guntur, which is 32 km away.
Best time to visit Amravati
Anytime is good time to visit the Amravati.