Dhyana Buddha statue at Dharanikota in Guntur District.
Ahead of commencement of works on the construction of the new Capital in Guntur District, the Department of Archaeology and Museums has undertaken a detailed survey to identify the archaeological monuments that are likely to get impacted.
The move is aimed at avoiding damages to the historical structures during the construction of swanky buildings for the Capital. “Technical assistants from the department are conducting village-to-village survey to find the historical monuments. If they find any such structure, we will first inform senior officials and later take up excavation to ascertain the age of the remnants so that they can get their place in the history texts. We are taking the assistance of villagers in this massive exercise,” Department of Archaeology and Museums Assistant Director S. Bangaraiah said.
He said that the technical assistants had unearthed Buddhist and Jain sites in addition to certain pre-historic burial sites in a few areas in Guntur. These structures have been identified in Penumaka, Vundavali, Vademanam and Vaikuntapuram, among other villages during the survey. Efforts were on to continue the survey for the next 45 days, he said.
Sources said that the State Government was planning to commence the construction work from July after laying foundation stone in June. “By that time, we want to collect information about the historical monuments and take steps to protect them,” a senior official said.
He said Amaravati, a historical town where a Buddhist Stupa and a school of art named after the Buddha are located in the Capital region, has already been declared as heritage town. Dharanikota near Amaravathi was once the Capital of the Satavahana dynasty and it later emerged as key centre of Buddhism and laid foundation for its expansion in the State subsequently. Decades-old Shiva and Vaishnava temples are also located in this region.