Monks seek museum at Nelakondapalli

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Excavations at the place revealed a fine flooring in brick.

Khammam: Buddhist monks and representatives of 41 countries, who visited the Buddhist Maha Stupa at Nelakondapalli, went nostalgic for a moment.

The 63-member delegation walked around the Maha Stupa and viewed the monument built 1,700 years ago. The trial excavations conducted by the archaeology department on the mound revealed a fine flooring in brick.

There were 52 layers of such bricks with each brick measuring 22x10x3 inches. The entire area and surroundings were declared as a protected area, encroachment and destruction will not be allowed.

Buddhavanam project director Manohar said that Nelakondapalli had a history of making and exporting Buddha rock statues and panchaloha idols in the ancient times.

According to V.V. Krishna Sastry, former director of Archaeology and Museums, a big city existed at Nelakondapalli within the area of 4-5 square kilometers between Nelakondapalli and Mujjugudem in those days. There were only a few Buddhist sites in South India in those days. Nelakondapally was spelt as Nelicinda in those days.

The Telangana government planned to promote Buddhist sites in the state, as part of Buhddhavanam Project, and is inviting scholars and monks from various countries to know of the greatness of these historic sites in the state.

Vishak, a monk from Thailand, said, “The atmosphere at Nelakondapalli is very nice and the beautiful. The Maha Stupa is a very big one,” he said, adding that there is every chance that the Buddhist monks may show interest in visiting the site.

The monks and gurus of Buddhism from various countries recalled the teachings of Buddha. Donthave, another monk from Lavos, said that the Maha Stupa has significance and those following and believing in Buddhism would visit it.

The archaeological department unearthed relics, coins and other antiques at Nelakondapalli. The Buddhist monks who visited the place urged the state government to set up a museum.

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