P. SUJATHA VARMA
Idols date back to 9th-10th centuries AD
Two stone idols of Buddha have been found in the debris of a Veerabhadra Swamy temple tank at Motupalli village in Prakasam district.
The idols date back to 9th-10th centuries AD. The discovery was made by E. Sivanagi Reddy, a Buddhist archaeologist and CEO of The Cultural Centre of Vijayawada as part of his survey of the area on Saturday.
Assisted by Govind, sarpanch of Rudramambapuram, a hamlet in Motupalli, a local resident Dhararatha Reddy Raju and Tenali-based amateur archaeologist K. Venkateswara Rao, Mr. Nagireddy pored over the area and identified a few pot shreds, Chinese enamel ware and fragments of shell bangles, all dated to the Chola period.
In the vicinity, a huge red colour earthenware (a jar) and three terracotta rings with a din of 4-0 ft and 1-ft-high also dating back to the Chola era were found.
The left palm of the Buddha idol has a motif of a Dharmachakra, similar to an idol found in Amaravati earlier, also belonging to the 9th-10th centuries AD. Another Buddha idol carved in black basalt stone was also found in the debris. Mr. Nagireddy said the articles discovered were of great historic significance.
He said that excavations taken up by the Department of Archaeology in the 1970s yielded Chinese ware and copper coins of the Ming dynasty, coins belonging to the Chola era and bronze articles and pottery at the port area confirming that Motupalli had served as an international port town during the medieval period.
Mr. Nagireddy explained to the local residents the historical significance of Motupalli and Rudramambapuram village. Instead of waiting for Government officials they could enlighten others in the village about the need to preserve heritage for posterity and contribute their mite in achieving the same. He said a scientific probe would bring to the fore the cultural significance of the place.