Monday, January 01, 2018

Day Six - 13 Dec 2017


171213_museumIn the morning we visited the Amaravati Archaeological Museum and there was a model of The Great Stupa or Mahachaitya in the open courtyard. We were not allowed to take photos inside the museum so I sketched this big sculptural cow on the left. It was about 2.0m long x 1.2m high housed inside a transparent box. We then walked to the ruins of The Great Stupa nearby and stayed there to sketch the park. I sketched the original foundation of the stupa and you can imagine how big was the dome on top of it. All the broken pieces from the stupa were displayed at the museum earlier and it depicted the life of Buddha and the glorious history of the Indian dynasties when Buddhism flourished in Amaravati. The stones displayed here at the park were relics from various locations in India.

Amaravati was home to best known 2000 years old Buddhist relics, which made the place an important pilgrimage for the Buddhists even to this day. The famous monk in the classic Chinese novel "Journey to the West" with Sun Wukong, the monkey king was said to retrieve Buddhist sutras from the west, ie Amaravati.

Architectural Drawing by, Amaravati Mahachaitya or The Great Stupa was built around the 2nd century. It was the largest stupa in India and the stupa was earlier a simple structure with limestone crossbars and simple carvings, but when renovated by the Satavahana rulers, it became a highly marked architectural monument. Excavated a few years back, this stupa is engraved with intricate carvings that depict the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. If you are interested to know more The Great Stupa and Buddhism in Amaravathi, this link is very useful.