Amravathi is a popular pilgrim destination for Buddhists and Hindus alike, and with the possibility of the 2019 Kalachakra Initiation to be held there, we thought we’d take a closer look at this historical village and see what it’s all about.
Where is it
Amravathi is a small town located in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh on the south coast of India. It is located on the southern banks of the Krishna river and is formerly known as Andhra Nagari.
What’s so special about it
Amaravathi is the place where Shakyamuni Buddha turned the wheel of dharma when he gave the first Kalachakra teaching 2500 years ago at the request of King Dawa Sangpo (Suchandra). It is also the location in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama performed the 2006 Kalachakra Initiation.
It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus as well. Over 2000 years ago the Satavahanas chose the site to build their capital at Dharanikota and it is one of the few places in the country where the sacred Krishna river flows north instead of east or south; creating an auspicious location for pilgrims seeking ablution.
What to see
Amareshwara Temple is the holy shrine of lord Shiva. It’s located on ‘ Krouncha Saila’ hill alongside the Krishna river on the south-eastern side of Srisailam Temple. The 15 feet high white marble lingam is the main attraction and is one of the five holy shrines of lord Shiva.
Amravathi also houses a giant Buddhist stupa which measures 27 meters in height and 50 meters in diameter. The rectangular shape platforms of this Stupa project into the four cardinal directions measuring 7.20 X 2.10 meters.
Mangalagiri is one of the few places in India where a dead volcano can be found. There is a long-standing tradition called Panakala Narasimha Swami in the Narasimha Swami Temple where Jaggery Juice (Panakam) is poured in the belief that it will keep the volcano dormant
The Undavalli caves located in a small village 6 km south west from Vijayawada, were carved out of solid sandstone on a hillside in the 4th- 5th centuries A.D. This monolith is often considered one of the finest examples of ancient vishwakarma sthapathis
Where to stay
Accomodation in Amravathi itself is suited more towards camping so bring along a tent or hire one from one of the local vendors. If Hotels are more your style then Vijayawada, located approx. 30kms away has a plethora of options ranging from 3-5 stars.
How to get there
By Air: Vijayawada is the closest airport located 52 km from Guntur. From Vijayawada, there are many government and private buses to take you to Guntur
By Train: Vijayawada Junction is the main train station, from here Guntur is 32 km.
By Road: Amaravathi is connected to Guntur by well motorable roads. Excellent private and government buses take you to Amaravathi from Guntur.