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BUDDHIST CAVE SHELTERS

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BUDDHIST CAVE SHELTERS

CONTEXT:

  • Recently the cave shelter is discovered on the Rudragiri hillock, which has remnants of a Buddhist monastery, in Guntur district.

ABOUT DISCOVERED BUDDHIST SHELTERS:

  • Remnants of a Buddhist monastery established during the Satavahana period have been discovered on the Rudragiri (Red Hill) at Orvakallu village in Atchampet Mandal of Gun­tur district in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Notable findings at the site were pottery and rock shelters.
  • Dhanyakatakam or Dharanikota was the capital of Andhra Satavahanas dynasty founded by Vadireddy Venkatadri Nayudu.

FINDINGS OF THE SURVEY:

  • The survey had helped expose and identify hitherto unknown ancient remains of Buddhist monasteries and a big rock shelter located on the top of the Rudragiri.
  • The badly ruined brick built structural remains of an ancient Buddhist Vihara complex were found dating back to the 1st Cen­tury CE or 1st Century AD.
  • This monastery flourished during the Satavahana period.
  • A carved Padmasila or moonstone made of limes­tone was also discovered in a broken State.
  • Another interesting finding is a natural cistern on the slopes of the hillock for harnessing and storing rainwater for drinking pur­poses.

ABOUT SATVAHANAS:

  • The Satavahanas also referred to as the Andhras in the mythological Puranas, were an ancient Indian dynasty based in the Deccan region.
  • The Satavahana kingdom mainly comprised the present-day Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra.
  • At different times, their rule extended to parts of modern Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka.
  • The dynasty had different capital cities at different times, including Pratishthana (Paithan) and Amaravati (Dharanikota).
  • The origin of the dynasty is uncertain, but according to the Puranas, their first king overthrew the Kanva dynasty.
  • In the post-Maurya era, the Satavahanas established peace in the Deccan region and resisted the onslaught of foreign invaders.
  • In particular their struggles with the Saka Western Satraps went on for a long time.
  • The dynasty reached its zenith under the rule of Gautamiputra Satakarni and his successor Vasisthiputra Pulamavi.
  • The kingdom had fragmented into smaller states by the early 3rd century CE.
  • The Satavahanas were early issuers of Indian state coinage struck with images of their rulers.
  • They formed a cultural bridge and played a vital role in trade and the transfer of ideas and culture to and from the Indo-Gangetic Plain to the southern tip of India.
  • They supported Hinduism as well as Buddhism and patronised Maharashtri Prakrit literature.

SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, CURRENT AFFAIRS

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