The present capital area has its own historical significance of having recorded its first ever legislation 2,200 years ago. The present-day capital region includes the ancient Amaravati. The area has been ruled by the MauryasSatavahanasIkshvakusVishnukundinaPallavasTelugu CholasKakatiyasDelhi SultanateMusunuri NayaksBahmani SultanateVijayanagara Empire, Sultanate of Golconda and Mughal Empire successively before the founding of the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1724. It was ceded to France in 1750 but was captured by England in 1759.
The recorded history of Amaravati and Dharanikota is from 2nd century BCE. It was the telugu capital of Andhra Satavahanas who ruled from 2nd century BCE – 3rd century CE. The Satavahana era lied in between the Maurya and Gupta eras. They ushered in Post mauryan period and had cultural impact on people of Andhra, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh significantly. Satavahanas preserved Hinduism and also fostered Buddhism presenting a wonderful example of openness and enlightened thinking.
Amaravati was a seat of Buddhism prior to the rise of Satavahanas, and a stupa and monastery were built there during the reign of Emperor Ashoka (269-232 BC) under Mauryan empire.
The great stupa or Mahachaitya at Amaravati was one of the biggest in Andhra Pradesh with a probable diameter of 50 meters and a height of 27 meters.

Buddhist legends of Amaravathi / Dharanikota:

According to ‘Vajrayana’ buddhism traditional sources, the Buddha preached at Dharanikota (Dhanyakatakam) and also conducted the ‘Kalachakra’ ceremony. This legend takes the antiquity of Amaravati back to 500 BCE.
Taranath, the Buddhist monk of tibetan buddhism writes in his History of Buddhism: “On the full moon of the month Chaitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, Buddha emanated the mandala of “The Glorious Lunar Mansions” (Kalachakra). This description shows that Dhanyakatakam (Amaravati) was a very significant place marking the origin of many Buddhist Tantric teachings especially, Kalchakra.

About Amaravathi Stupa : The stupa found to be engraved with intricate carvings depicting the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. This is a Sariraka type of stupa and hence it’s of great importance.Mahastupas are known as ‘Sariraka Stupa’ (containing buried bodily remains of Lord Buddha), Other type of Stupa are: Paribhogika stupa (containing buried belongings of the Buddha).

British Museum: Drum-frieze. Fragment of a drum frieze panel in limestone ('Palnad marble') with three remaining registers carved with an unidentified palace scene with men and women adorning a stupa.

Related image

A legend says that, after the death of Buddha his remains were kept at eight places in stupas by his disciples. But Ashoka, when embraced Buddhism after the great Kalinga war in 3rd century BC, had removed the relics. He is believed to have kept the remains of Buddha at 84,000 places in the world in order to spread Buddhism across the globe.

Few old pics

Site of the Amaravati Mahastupa/ASI

Votive Stupa, Amrvati/ASI

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