Hyderabad: Four rare Buddha sculptures dating back to 3rd and 4th Century AD were unearthed from a tank in Khammam district last Thursday. The statues made of limestone were found in Ramasamudram tank in Nagulavamsa of Chintakani mandal when workers were removing silt. They brought it to the notice of the mandal revenue officer.
While two sculptures were intact, one was damaged and other was headless. However, the damaged pieces were recovered from the site. Mandal revenue officer Srinivas Rao alerted the state department of archaeology whose rushed to the spot.
“There were four sculptures, one more than 1 metre high and the others half-metre. They are made of limestone and dates back to 3rd and 4th Century AD. Either the place was a Buddhist site or someone might have hid them in the tank,” said Mr P. Nagaraju, assistant director, department of archaeology and museums.
Mr Nagaraju, who informed director of archaeology and museums N.R. Vishalatchy, said the sculptures were priceless and this was the first time that four sculptures had been found together.
The findings are significant since Khammam has a famous Buddhist stupa in Nela-kondapalli, which is a historical site with a mud fortification wall covering nearly 100 acre.
Excavations have unearthed foundations of brick viharas, wells, cisterns, a maha stupa, terracotta figurines, bronze idol of Buddha, a miniature stupa carved in lime stone and other materials dating back to 3rd and 4th century AD.
It is also believed that the Pandavas spent a year of Agyata Vasa after being exiled for 12 years, while working in disguise in the palace of Virata Raju, the king of Nagaram....