Ghantasala to get 70-ft Buddha statue
- Decks have been cleared for the construction of a Rs. 1.5-crore project to develop Ghantasala village in Krishna district as one of the prime Buddhist tourist spots in the State.
The new tourist spot
- The new facility will be themed on the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha.
- The major highlight will be a two-storied structure in Buddhist architecture resembling a pedestal with a 100-ft wide and 70-ft high Budha in the Mahaparinirvana posture.
- On top of the two-storey structure will be an imposing statue of the reclining Buddha, this is a chief iconographic and statuary pattern of Buddhism.
- It represents the historical Buddha during his last illness, about to enter the Mahaparinirvana.
The Mahaparinirvana Posture
- In Buddhism, Mahaparinirvana means the ultimate state everlasting, highest peace and happiness entered by an Awakened Being (Buddha).
- It shows Buddha lying on the right flank, his head resting on a cushion or on his right elbow, supporting his head with his hand.
- This pattern seems to have occurred at the same time as other representations of the Buddha in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara.
- The two floors will house a Buddhist library, a meditation centre, an auditorium for spiritual classes, an exhibition hall for digital replicas of the Buddhist antiques exhibited in the Paris museum and monasteries.
Development of new projects
- The project is coming up in a 2-and-half acre private land donated by a non-resident Telugu Gorrepati Ramanadha Babu on behalf of a Trust run in the names of his parents.
- Tenders for the project have been concluded, designs approved and administration sanction given. The work may start in a couple of weeks.
- Ghantasala, known as Katakasila in the ancient times, was a renowned Buddhist centre located near the coast.
- Ptolemy, the Greek geographer, had made a specific remark of an emporium of Kontakossyla in the region of Misolia (present Machilipatnam).
- The maha stupa was once sheathed with well decorated sculptured slabs like that of Amaravathi and had an ornate railing.
- Initially, the archaeological implication of Ghantasala was reported by Boswel in 1870-71 and the site was then subjected to excavations by Alexander Rea which brought out the stupa architecture in detail.