Ghantasala, Krishna district
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||AP 16|
|Nearest city||Machilipatnam, Gudivada|
|Sex ratio||10:9.8 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Machilipatnam|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Avanigadda|
Ghantasala is a town and Mandal headquarters in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is 21 km west of Machilipatnam and 11 km east of river krishna .The largest city of this district, Vijaywada, is around 60 km away. It is a rare and reputed center for Buddhist sculptures.
Boswell of the East India Company first reported Ghantasala as a historical site in 1870-71. Alexander Rea excavated the stupa at Ghantasala, which had a circumference of 112 feet and a height of 23 feet. The remains of an important Buddhist stupa and sculptural slabs were found in 1919-20. Ghantasala was once a flourishing town of Indo-Roman trade as well as an important religious centre. The Buddhist relics and the Hindu structures at the place reveal its past glory. Carved limestone columns belonging to pillared halls associated with Buddhist monastic establishments (2-3rd centuries BC ) have been discovered. The ruined Maha Chaitya or stupa that was excavated here is of a unique design. A cube of solid bricks is set in the centre, inscribed with 12 constellations of the zodiac.
The chaityas had a texture and size unique to the Satavahana times and had separate dwelling places for Buddhist monks in the complex. All walls were found to have beautiful plastering with superfine lime mortar. A three-dimensional limestone carved structure, embellished on the dome portion of the stupa had two garland bearers, a dhamma chakra and a miniature stupa on a throne in the middle. Objects such as a four-by-three-feet 'Purna Kalasa' containing lotus flowers, indicating the birth of Gautama Buddha were also discovered. The stupa had concentric inner wheels radiating towards a central chamber.primary amongst them is a raised cylindrical mound with a semi spheric
Vijaywada has an airport located some 20 km away at Gannavaram. Flights from here connect Vijaywada to both Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. The closest major airport is in Hyderabad.
Machilipatnam is connected by road and rail from Vijaywada. From Machilipatnam, buses as well as private transport are available to transfer you to Ghantasala. Buses and private transport are also available from Challapalle in Krishna district.
For many years Ghantasla hand-loom workers have been creating wonders with their skills. At present only 200 people are working in the hand-loom field; as the years pass the number of workers is also decreasing in this filed.
A good range of Hand-loom Sarees starts from INR 400. Now with the help of Hand-loom society these sales and manufacturing is carried away. People around the village come to ghantasala and buy Sarees here.
- South Indian Buddhist Antiquities, A. Rea, 1989, Asian Educational Services, ISBN 81-206-0512-8
- Historical Discoveries in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh of India