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Buddhist pillars found under Bala Tripura Sundari Temple in AP

The famous pilgrimage temple at Tripuranthakam in Prakasam district dated 13th century was built on a Buddhist Pavilion, archaeologists have revealed after finding two pillars in the premises with Buddhist inscriptions dated first century AD. The pillars were found while the temple authorities were digging adjacent to the temple complex. Experts opined that the existing temple was raised over a Buddhist site of Satavahana period.

Buddhist scholar and archaeologist Dr E Siva Nagi Reddy said, “It is surprising to note that Buddhist remains are recovered from the premises of Goddess Bala Tripura Sundari Temple. Temple authorities were renovating the buttressed compound wall which laid bare foundations of a gopura structure. A number of Buddhist remains were recovered,"

The pillars are carved on Planadu lime stone. “They carry the half lotus medallions, a typical Buddhist symbol, with two line Brahmi inscription datable to the first Century AD. With another inscription in Devanagari script is datable to 10th century AD. This reveals that the pillars were used for raising the temple structure," said Nagi Reddy.

There are two Buddhist stupas located at Chandavaram and Dupadu in close proximity to Tripuranthakam. "Future probes in the area may yield promising results on the Buddhist remains of the early centuries," said Nagi Reddy. Experts asked the temple authorities and endowments department to preserve the valuable Buddhist pillars which bear historical significance and to display in the temple premises.

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