Smiling Buddha idol unearthed at Ghantasala

23-VJ-BUDDHA_IDOL_2217544eThe Hindu
T. APPALA NAIDU

A smiling Buddha idol made of Dachepalli limestone was unearthed from an agricultural field falling under Penneramma mound, a Buddhist site, at Ghantasala village in Krishna district.

The idol, six inches in height and four inches width, was found by a local farmer while he was preparing land within the range of the mound, which witnessed flourishing Hinayana sect of Buddhism during the 2nd A.D and 3rd A.D. period.

“We found the Buddha idol in pure white colour four days ago. The Archaeological Survey of India, Hyderabad, authorities have responded to our written appeal to collect it for conservation. More historical facts are yet to be ascertained by the ASI”, G. Rama Krishna of Ghantasala told The Hindu. Mr. Rama Krishna kept the idol in his house, waiting for the ASI authorities.

Locals appealed to the ASI to keep the idol in the ASI museum, Ghantasala.

A team of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, Machilipatnam Chapter led by its Convener T. Ram Mohan Rao and revenue officials on Saturday documented the details of the idol.

“The idol is arguably belonging to the period of 6 A.D. or 7th A.D. period, when Buddhism was its peak state on the East Coast. It is rare to see smiling Buddha made of Dathepalli limestone”, said Historian Mohammed Silar. According to excavations by Alaxendar Rea and others in late 1880s, Penneramma mound was one of the mounds of the Buddhism in and around Ghantasala.

Other mounds where several Buddhist remains were unearthed earlier are Ernimpadu, Ghotakam Malapalli area and Museum site.

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