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Some 30km due west of Vijayawada, near the bank of the Krishna River, stands the ancient Buddhist centre of Amaravathi, the former capital of the Satvahans, the successors to the Mauryas in this part of India. Here you can see the 2000 year old stupa with its intricately carved pillars and marble-surfaced dome which itself is equally richly carved. The carvings depict the life from everyday life. It's not as large as that at sanchi in Madhya Pardesh but it's worth a visit if you're interested in Buddhist relics of the Hinayana era. There's a Museum on the site containing relics found in the area. The ancient Buddhist centre known as Dhanyataka and the former capital city of Satavahanas is 60kms south west of Vijayawada. During the time of Acharya Nagarjuna, the Buddhist philosopher, Amaravathi was a renowned seat of learning where a Buddhist university flourished. It is built of kiln-burnt bricks and faced with marble slabs, the Maha stupa was richly adorned with carvings, depicting events from the life of Buddha along its dome and the outer and inner sides of the railing.

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