Buddha sculptures found carved on Suryanarayana, Papanaseswara temples in Alampur

Two Buddha sculptures were found carved on the ceilings of Maha Mandapas of Suryanarayana and Papanaseswara temples in Alampur, E. Sivanagireddy, archaeologist and CEO, Pleach India Foundation, said.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  16 May 2022 4:59 AM GMT
Buddha sculptures found carved on Suryanarayana, Papanaseswara temples in Alampur

Hyderabad: Two Buddha sculptures were found carved on the ceilings of Maha Mandapas of Suryanarayana and Papanaseswara temples in Alampur, E. Sivanagireddy, archaeologist and CEO, Pleach India Foundation, said.

Alampur is considered the western gateway to Srisailam and is also the seat to one of the Sakthi Peethas. A startling revelation inside the Navabraheswara temple complex is the presence of two sculptures of Lord Buddha, which were discovered by famous historian late BSL Hanumantha Rao in the recent past.

Dr. Sivanagireddy visited Alampur and studied the Buddha sculptures and carvings on the ceilings of the Maha Mandapas of Suryanarayana and Papanaseswara temples in detail. According to him, the sculpture at the Suryanarayan temple has Buddha seated under the Bodhi tree in Dhyanamudra (contemplating meditation) with an attendant's sculpture on the bottom left side.

It measures 3 feet in width and height and four inches in thickness and was carved in relief style. Dr. Sivanagi Reddy opines that it was probably during the period when Buddhism was on the decline around the 10th Century AD, and when Shaivism and Vaishnavism were on the rise, that Buddha was adopted by these cults as an incarnation of Vishnu, the reason why Buddha's sculptures found their way into these temples.

A similar Buddha idol of the same proportion and posture has been found at Papanaseswara temple rebuilt on the outskirts of Alampur. It represents Vishnu as one of his ten incarnations (Dashavatar).

Based on the iconography and style, these two sculptures have been identified as Amitabha Buddha sculptures famous in Vajrayana Buddhism.

The findings of the two Buddha sculptures in Alampur, interestingly, come on the eve of Buddha Jayanthi which is being celebrated on Monday.

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