Where Buddha’s disciples sought salvation…

Where Buddha’s disciples sought salvation…
Highlights

Areas in the serene and sylvan backyards of nature, chose by Buddhist monks centuries ago to set up their monasteries, still remain a place of great interest for people who love our history and culture.

Kothagudem: Areas in the serene and sylvan backyards of nature, chose by Buddhist monks centuries ago to set up their monasteries, still remain a place of great interest for people who love our history and culture. One such area, the historic Buddhist site on Karukonda hillock, just six kilometres away from here, is fast becoming travellers’ delight. They throng the site to enjoy the pristine nature and to relish various Lord Budhdha’s relics, including a meditation hall, that belong to the first century BC at the heritage structure.

Tibetans chose the Karukonda hillocks, in the present day Karukonda panchayat of Lakshmidevipalli mandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, as the most suitable place for their meditation. There is a prayer hall and several ancient Budhdha relics at the Budhdhist site. As the region is full of dense forests with several wild animals freely roaming in the area, in those days nobody had dared to go over there.

Some of the tourist attractions at the historic site were a cave, Budhdha’s images, Goddess Sita’s foot imprints and local Goddess Sadalamma temple. The Archaeology Department identified the historic site for heritage structure status about 10 years ago in the united Andhra Pradesh. A notice board at the historic site warns people against defacing the structures and encroaching the place.

People, including tribals, worship Lord Budhdha and also local Goddess Sadalamma, whom they describe as self-manifested. Special pujas are performed to the Goddess on Sundays and Thursdays. People from Karukonda, Sarvaram, Sitarampuram and Anisettipalli perform various rituals as part of the worship.

According to the legend, Goddess Sita accompanying Lord Sri Rama traversed through the region during their exile. There was a tell-tale evidence of Goddess Sita’s imprints, say devotees. Rumours of British officials hiding vast treasure in the hillock are doing rounds in the region. Nobody is evincing interest to go over there to explore the treasure as another rumour of the region is that the place inhabited by wild animals like tigers and lions.

The State government has initiated measures to bring back the past glory of the historic site. It submitted a report to the Center on promotion of tourism in the region. Archaeological Department officials paid a visit to the region and conducted a survey recently.

By Rajesh Nayani

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