The stupa was erected in the third century BC in Amaravati, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, and served as an important monastic center until the 14th century AD. It eventually went out of usage and became invisible as a result of being coated in dust and debris over time. The present-day appearance of the stupa is a complete surprise because archeologists did not know it existed until recently.
A team from the Indian Institute of Science discovered the stupa during excavations for another project about 50 miles away in Chitradurga. They were looking at sites with large numbers of ancient statues when they came across some stones that seemed unusual. After further investigation, they realized these were parts of a larger structure and sent photos to other scientists at the institute who specialize in ancient ruins. They suggested that the stupa might be more than 1000 years old and probably belonged to the same period as some other statues found at the site.
Once the team had confirmed this hypothesis, they started to dig around the stones to see what else could be learned about its history. They found that some of the stones appeared to have been moved here from elsewhere and set up as part of the stupa. The original location of these stones is now unknown but may have been near where they were found before they were placed under the ground.
The Amaravati Stupa's History It was created during the era of the Mauryan dynasty's Ashoka the Great, who himself built a large number of Buddhist monuments across the Indian subcontinent. The stupa was an important center of devotion until the 14th century, when it was demolished. It was rebuilt within a few years and now stands nearly three meters high.
The Amaravati Stupa's Design and Structure The stupa at Amaravati is made up of five layers, each one representing a stage in Buddhism's development. The top layer is called the "parinirvana sri" and contains relics of the Buddha's body before it was cremated. The next four layers are called "antaravara" and contain images of the Buddha's disciples, along with objects that were important to their lives: grass, trees, water, and rocks. In addition, there are also relics of the two Indian monks who founded Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
The stupa itself is made of brick and stone, with some parts being as old as the 4th century BC while others date back only 100 years or so. It measures about 30 feet in diameter and 15 feet high. The base is made of rough stones but gets smoother as you go up. The structure is almost perfectly round with the exception of a small area near the top where some bricks have been left unglazed for reasons unknown.
Amaravati Stupa, also known as Amaravati's Great Buddhist Stupa. Which is a destroyed Buddhist monument that was most likely erected during the third century BC and around 250 CE. It lies in the Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in the town of Amaravati. The Archaeological Survey of India is in charge of the site. The structure consists of a large hemispherical dome with eight smaller ones attached to it, in two rows of four each. The height of the main dome is about 26 feet (8 m), and its diameter at the base is about 60 feet (18 m). Inside the stupa are several small statues and some fragments of sculpture.
The origin of the term "stupa" is unclear. Some believe it is derived from the Sanskrit words supta meaning reclining or lying down, which refers to the shape of the monument; others say it comes from the Persian word shapuza for basket. In any case, a stupa is a mound of earth or stone used to contain something valuable e.g. bones, teeth, nails, coins, etc. That is why we can say that Buddha has become wisdom which is valued by humans.
In Asia, especially in Nepal and India, there are many stupas dating back to early Buddhism. Some were built by monks, others by ordinary people who donated their money to build temples. But only few of them remain today, because many years ago they were all destroyed by fire, earthquakes or invaders.
Amaravati Stupa was discovered by chance. In 1796, a local raja looking to build a temple came across the remnants of the Amaravati stupa. He opted to utilize the stone because he suspected there was wealth buried in what seemed to be a hill. As a result, for the time being, all we have as the Amaravati stupa is a mound. There are no remaining parts of the original structure.
The reason why the Amaravati stupa was destroyed is still a matter of debate for scholars. Some believe it was done on purpose while others think it was an accident. However, what is not in question is that after its destruction, the mound began to be used for garbage disposal which led to it becoming polluted over time.
In 1953, archeologists found evidence of early Buddhist settlements near the site of the stupa. This confirmed that the mound was important earlier than thought and started the process of restoring its reputation as a holy place. In 1994, the Indian government approved funding for research and conservation at the site. Since then, the mound has become a popular tourist destination in India.