Thotlakonda

Thotalakonda Budhist Complex is situated about 15 kilometres from Visakhapatnam on a hill near Bheemunipatnam in Andhra Pradesh , India . the hill overlooks the sea with a hight of 128 meters above the sea level . Thotlaonda was well influenced by Kalinga , which was a source of dissemination of Buddhism to various parts of Asia. Buddhist Monks found the place ideal for constructing a monastery complex because of the location of the place .  Thotlakonda is a hill on the sea cost with salubrious climate.

The aerial survey by the Indian Navy to set up a Naval Base brought Thotlakonda in to lime light. After the discovery of the place major excavations have been conducted by the Andhra Pradesh State Archaeology Department during 1988-1993 .  the findings of the excavations include Roman silver coins which indicates foreign trade ; terracotta tiles , stucco decorative pieces , sculptured panels , miniature stupa models in stone, and Buddha footprints.

Briskinf od Roman trade and sending religious missions abroad are marked as major activities in the history of Thotalkonda and the time period when these activities took place between 2nd century BCE and the 2nd century CE is marked as thotalkonda’s peak activity period. Along with Bavikonda and Pavurallakonda Thotalkonda also came into existence in Visakhapatnam .

The complex was w3ell versed with the arrangements for storing food, clothing, medicines and also used to serve as an religious cum academic centre. Many proofs are found that state that Nikaya Buddhism has been practices at the place , including worshiping Gautama Buddha through symbols such as Padukas and other materials rather than any human representation. No signs have been found of any royal patronage for this monetary. However local people and traders have been supported the complex . In the functional days of the monastery it might have been accommodating a lot of bhikkhus.

The rise in Hinduism and decline in maritime trade have shown a declining phase to Thotlakonda by the end of 3rd century.

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