Located at a distance of 65 km from Vijaywada, Amaravati is a town rich in architecture, trade and was instrumental in spreading Buddhism to the east coast. The place was previously known as Dhanyakataka or Dharanikota and is famous for the Amareswara temple and Buddhist stupa. Amravati was also once amongst the four major learning centres in India which attracted a large number of students from all over the world. Having a good transport network, this place is a popular tourist destination of the recent times.
Places to see in Amaravati: Amaravati is admired with a number of sight seeing locations which includes:
As per the Hindu mythology, Amareswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ‘Destroyer of the Universe’. The shrine embraces a 15 ft high marble Shiva lingam. It is believed that Lord Siva is present here in the form of five lingams -Pranaveswara, Agasteswara, Kosaleswara, Someswara and Parthiveswara. Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, Amareswara Temple has many legends behind its origin. Another interesting fact about the shrine is that it is located at the point where the river takes a different course. Since slabs with Buddhist inscriptions were found in its groundwork, the temple is said to have been a Buddhist shrine in the previous times. ‘Maha Shivaratri’ of ‘Magha Bahula Dasami’ is the major festival celebrated here. The divine aura of the shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.
Built around the 2nd century, Amravati Mahachaitya (The Great Stupa) must have been the largest stupa in the whole country. It is believed to have been constructed with the efforts of the great saint, Acharya Nagarjuna. Excavated a few years back, this stupa is engraved with intricate carvings that depict the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. Here is a small museum, which houses numerous artifacts and terracotta antiquities.
The great stupa at Amaravati accidentally came under limelight in 1796, when a certain raja decided to build a new capital at a place called Amareswaram. While digging at this place, the workers hit upon some bricks and some white stone pieces which had carvings on them. These were remains of the ancient stupa. The site of Amaravati lies in the valley of the KrishnaRiver in the modern state of Andhra Pradesh. Like other important stupa sites, Amaravati also grew and changed. Over time, stone pillars and railings were added. Eventually, the surface of the stupa was covered with beautifully carved white limestone slabs, resembling marble. The railing around the stupa and the four gateways were also decorated with carved limestone slabs. While some of the carvings and sculptures were purely decorative, others had philosophical connotations and tried to tell the story of the Buddha’s life. The railings and gateways of the stupa had many inscriptions carved on them.
The Archaeological Museum at Amaravati is a home to many relics that dates back to thousands of years, found during excavations. This museum unfolds the wealth of Amaravati that belonged to 3rd century BC, through the galaxy of sculptures that once were a part of Mahachaitya (the Giant Stupa). There are different galleries that take you close to the very old history of Amaravati and the life of the Buddhists in those days. The museum is closed on Fridays and on other days it is open from 10:00 am to 5:00pm.
Nearby attractions from Amaravati: From this historical site you can organize itinerary to Vijayawada,the second largest city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Historically enriched, the city has many tourist attractions with famous landmarks both in and around the city. Some of the notable places includes, Prakasham Barrage, Kanaka Durga temple Gandhi Hill, Rajiv Gandhi Park, Bhavani Island etc.
Things to do at Amaravati: Sightseeing is the most important thing that you can do while in Amaravati. The town offers quite a lot of places of attraction to look out for.
Best time to visit Amaravati: Best time to visit Amaravati is from October to March.
How to go ?
Vijayawada domestic Airport is the nearest airport to Amaravathi located at a distance of 51 km from the town which is connected with all the major cities of the country like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. One can get taxis and other modes of transportation at a reasonable cost from the airport.
Amaravathi comes under the Hyderabad-Vijaywada and Hyderabad-Guntur line. Vijayawada Junction is the closest one connected with the major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Bhuvaneshwar.
Amaravathi is well linked with Guntur by road. Private and government buses and cabs take people to Amaravathi from Guntur on a regular basis. The town is also well connected to the state capital, Hyderabad.
Where to stay ?
There are both government and private hotels in Amaravati. Some options are:
Amaravati Guest House (APTDC): +91-08643-22466
Hotel Sindoora Residency: +91- 08643-254200
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.