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Tourism wing fixes boundary of Thotlakonda Buddhist site


The Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Culture department on Friday fixed the boundary of the Buddhist Complex on the Thotlakonda, the limits of which had a controversy, after the state government planned to build a state guesthouse next to the Buddhist hill. The protected area is confined to 120.88 acres now. Issuing a GO, the AP government has clarified that there was a mistake earlier regarding the boundary limits of the protected area.

The Buddhist complex area coming in the Survey 314 area protected. However, heritage activists claimed that the survey No 314 of Kapuluppada village reveals the fact that the area protected under the Ancient and Historical Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains Act is, in fact, spread over 3,143 acres on a cluster of hills. But successive governments have fudged revenue records to downsize the extent to a few hundred acres which led to the alienation of vast lands of the Buddhist sites.

The AP government is now claiming that only 120.88 acres of land was surveyed in the presence of the Registering Officer, Archeology and Museum, Visakhapatnam. Since the discovery of the site in 1976, it has been declared a protected monument by the state government. Notable excavations at the site include a maha stupa, a stone pillared congregation hall, three circular prayer halls, 10 viharas, a kitchen complex, and a refectory.

Silver Roman coins and other evidence of international commerce have also been found at the site. Earlier, the east boundary of the protected area was under Survey No. 295 and 296 and the west, east and south boundaries were mentioned as ‘hill’. Hence, the works taken up by the AP Tourism Development Corporation were halted citing that the area comes under protected land.

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