Some places have been a surprise package by showcasing interesting discoveries. Here is one such destination which was declared as an archaeological site during an aerial survey conducted by the Indian Navy. Yes, Thotlakonda Buddhist Monastery was discovered in Visakhapatnam during 1993.
The traces of foundations and ruined sculptures led to an excavation which revealed the importance of this place. It was only after the total excavation that they got to know about the importance of this age-old monastery.
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Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex is located on a hill overlooking the sea. The tranquil atmosphere and the strategic location of this monastery led them to study its popularity during the ancient times. Thotlakonda is a 2000-years old Buddhist monastery which played integral role while Buddhism was spreading to Sri Lanka and other parts of South-East Asia.
It was a residential as well as an academic complex for several Buddhist monks. Although there are no records of its patronage, this was believed to be a thriving monastery.
What's there in Buddhist Monastery Complex?
Thotlakonda is ideal for casual visit as not much is there to be seen here. Mostly the ruins of the rock-cut troughs which were used as wells can be seen here. These wells were used to store water for the daily usage in the monastery. Infact, the name Thotlakonda in Telugu means 'the hill of stone wells'.
One will enjoy the quiet and windy ambience of this hill with a sea view. You will enjoy the nature at its best as it is an unexplored destination.
Several sculptures, silver coins to Satavahana period, miniature stupas, Buddha padas (model of Buddha's feet), etc. were found during the excavations. Thotlakonda is also said to have trade relations with foreign countries as it is near to the coastal line. However, the popularity of Thotlakonda is said to have declined during 3rd Century. Since then, Thotlakonda has been abandoned and buried in this hill. It was discovered along with other nearby sites like Bavikonda in Visakhapatnam.
Ruins of Monastery
Other Places to Visit near Thotlakonda
Bavikonda is yet another Buddhist monastery complex which is around 6km from Thotlakonda in Visakhapatnam. You will see many Stupas and brick architecture in Bavikonda. Even Bavikonda is situated on a hill and dates back to 3rd century.
Thotlakonda Beach is around 3km from this archaeological site in Vizag. Thotlakonda Beach is one of the beautiful beaches and tourist places in Vizag (Visakhapatnam).
How to Reach Thotlakonda
It is better to take your own vehicles or book a cab to reach Thotlakonda. You have to first hit the Thotlakonda Beach Road and then take the road which goes towards Bhimli. Even local transports such as auto-rickshaws can be taken to reach Thotlakonda.
Click : How to Reach Visakhapatnam