Amaravathi is a well known historical town of and center for pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhist, located on the south bank of river Krishna in Sattenapalli taluk around 60 km from Guntur district of Andra Pradesh, India. The major attractions are carved temple dedicated to lord Shiva, 2000 year old Buddhist settlements and monuments and an Archeological Museum. This ancient city has its unique record in history dated 2nd century BC and was a capital of Andra Pradesh. It is a center of Buddhist art was one of the three major art school in ancient India. The sacred river Krishna is held in reverence at this pilgrimage and ablution in this river is considered holy and meritorious among Hindus. This town gained its popularity during the period of King Ashoka. 'Hills of Lamps' and 'Abode of God' are the other names of Amaravathi. Excavations done by Archeologists and European scholars were unearthed several rare Dravidian style sculptures.
TOURIST PLACES IN AMARAVATHI
Amareshwara Temple: Amaravathi is famous for the Amareshwara Temple, the holy shrine of Lord Shiva, located 60 km west to Vijayawada. It is located on a hillock called ' Krouncha Saila' alongside of river Krishna on the southeastern side of Srisailam Temple. Shiva is the male embodiment of power is called as 'Amareshwara' and goddess is referred as 'Bala Chamundi' and there are also several other deities. 15 feet high white marble lingam is the center of attraction. It is one of the five holy shrine (Pancharama) of Lord Shiva which is surrounded by massive walls and decorated by four lofty gopuram. The inscriptions on the temple walls are the evident of historical events. Mahashivarathri and Navarathri are the major carnivals celebrated here. In 2006, the famous Buddhist ritual 'Kalachakra' (Time-Wheel) – a type meditation practice initiation was conducted here by Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Temple is usually closed in noon. Visiting in the morning and evening are regularly performed here.
Buddhist Stupa: Buddhist Stupa of Amaravathi is India's biggest heap, built on 3rd century BC, measuring 27 meter in height and 50 meters in diameter. It assures great site seeing for archeology lover. It was the important worship place of Buddhist, built with bricks in a circular or drum shape, covered with sculptured slabs and carved panels which denotes the ancient Buddhist life. The rectangular shape platforms of this Stupa is projecting into four cardinal directions measuring 7.20 X 2.10 meters each. During decline of Buddhism, this Stupa is buried and neglected. Many sculptures of this Stupa are now in some acclaimed museums of India, Germany and London.
Archeological Museum: This Meuse has the replica of the Buddhist Stupa. It displays many carved sculptures of Stupa, 'Amaravathi' art works, sketches and drawings and depicts coins made of gold, silver and lead which are used in historic days.
HOW TO REACH AMARAVATHI
By Air: Vijayawada Airport is the nearest one located 52 km from Guntur. From Guntur there are many government and private buses available to Guntur.
By Train: Vijayawada Junction is the main junction, from here Guntur is 32 km. Other nearby stations are Pedakkurapadu, 19 km from Guntur and Lingamguntla, 20 km from Guntur.
By Road: Amaravathi is connected with Guntur by well motorable roads. Excellent private and government buses takes to Amaravathi from Guntur.
Weather: Average temperature is warm to hot ranges from 27°C to 30°C. March to May are considered peak summer. Mid February especially during Mahashivarathri and Navarathri are the best time to visit Amaravathi.