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Amaravati Stupa, Amaravathi

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Amaravati Stupa, also known as Mahachaitya, is one of the chief attractions of Amaravathi. It was initially built during the times of Emperor Ashoka who was a great follower of Lord Buddha and had embraced Buddhism during his later years. The work on the stupa was completed by the year 200 CE and the carvings on the stupa depicted the life story of Buddha and his teachings. When Amaravathi became the capital of the Satavahana kings, the stupa was decorated with limestone reliefs and freestanding figures of Buddha were carved on to it. However, with the decline of Buddhism, the stupa also got neglected and was found buried by Colonel Colin Mackenzie, who visited the site in 1796 CE. Once the excavation work started, many other sculptures which once formed the constituent parts of the stupa were also unearthed. Today, the stupa is the only example of an Ashokan pillar to have been found in the whole of South India.

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