Andhra Pradesh & Telengana · Travel

Photoessay: Ghantasala – a centre of Buddhism in Andhra Pradesh

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh is a treasure house when it comes to ancient Buddhist sites.  With an extremely significant and a deep-rooted influence of Buddhism, the state boasts of close to 150 Buddhist sites with new ones being discovered regularly.

Stupa at Ghatasala, Andhra Pradesh
Stupa at Ghatasala, Andhra Pradesh
A statue of Lord Buddha
A statue of Lord Buddha

While one would normally associate Buddhism with Sanchi or Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist trail within Andhra Pradesh is indeed a revelation.  Ghantasala located about 60 km from the bustling city of Vijayawada is one such prominent centre where Buddhism flourished centuries ago.  A visit to this seemingly non-descript heritage village revealed several interesting sights.  Here are some captures.

Entrance to Ghantasala Village
Entrance to Ghantasala Village

An erstwhile centre of Indo- Roman trade, Ghantasala is located about 11 km east of the Krishna river.  An excavation in the late 19th century revealed the remains of a stupa which had a whopping circumference of 112 feet and a height of 23 feet.

Stupa at Ghantasala
Stupa at Ghantasala

The village also has a Buddhism museum that is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Several artefacts including remains of pillars, relics, statues and other objects are on display.

Museum at Ghantasala
Museum at Ghantasala
Statue of Lord Buddha at Ghantasala museum
Statue of Lord Buddha at Ghantasala museum
Buddhist relics at Ghantasala museum
Buddhist relics at Ghantasala museum

Buddhist relics at Ghantasala museum
Buddhist relics at Ghantasala museum

Apart from the museum and the stupa, a temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya is a place of interest in the village.

Subramanya swami temple in Ghantasala
Subramanya swami temple in Ghantasala

To read about other hidden gems of Andhra Pradesh, read my posts here and here.

7 thoughts on “Photoessay: Ghantasala – a centre of Buddhism in Andhra Pradesh

  1. So beautiful! I hadn’t heard of this place. I loved the statue of Buddha and that greenery around. True that India has so many treasures that we don’t even know. Thank you for sharing!

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