MONUMENTS IN SRIKAKULAM

 

Monument No: 1

Monument Name:ANCIENT BUDDHIST SITE

Location: Kalingapatnam (Calingapatnam)

Brief History:
The excavation revealed the existence of a large brick-built stupa, having hub and wheel patten plan. There are three concentric cings (excluding the hub), each connected with the other by means of radiating spokes. The diameter of the circle is 26.4m. The stupa is provided with brick paved pradakshinapatha of 3.4m width, but no traces of railing were noticed. The stupa is comparable to the Mahachaitya at Nagarjunakonda. The central hub was found to be destroyed to a large extent, but the available traces indicated that it was of square shape. The concentric rings, i.e. the inner, middle and outer, had twelve, twenty-four and thirty-six spokes respectively.

Excavation in the western side of the main stupa showed that the stupa, excluding the pradakshinapatha, was enclosed by a massive brick-wall of later date, square on plan,of which the purpose wasw not known. The stupa was bereft of sculptural veneering. However, traces of thick lime plaster were noticed at several places on the walls and also on the floor. Bricks of several sizes had been used in the construction of the stupa. The largest brick measured 55 x 27.5 x 10 cm. Further, a few votive stupas of different diameters with solid core were also noticed on the western side, adjacent to the main stupa. The cultural deposit of the site, however is 2-3 m in thick. The most important ceramic of the lowest level is the salt-glazed black ware, represented by shallow bowls with flat base, cups with wide mouth, of which the former is invariably provided with short pedestal. The other associated pottery with this ware is Black-and-red Ware of the megalithic fabric and pale-red ware. The basal layer on which the stupa was built yielded the Rouletted ware, red polished ware and knobbed ware of Sisupalgarh type. On the basis of the datable ceramics and also from the brick sizes.

PERIOD I Pre-Stupa level 300 BC TO AD 100
PERIOD II Main Stupa AD 100 TO 200
PERIOD III Later additions including AD 200 TO 400 Square enclosure wall.

Monument No: 2

Monument Name:SRI SOMESVARA TEMPLE

Location: Mukhalingam

Brief History:
Somesvara temple, dedicated to Siva was constructed during the 9th-10th century AD by the Eastern Gangas. It is the most attractive temple of the Mukhalingam group built in the typical Orissan style. Though obviously a temple of considerable size, only the main shrine now remains and faces west. Its elevational composition is dominated by the large niches in the bhadra projections on the walls, besides smaller niches on the corner facets, the former housing Ganesa, Karttikeya and Mahisamardini sculptures while Lakulisa and Ardhanarisvara are seen in the minor niches. The lintel of the garbha-griha has Gajalakshmi motif with Navagraha panel below, besides the Dwarapalas and Ganga-Yamuna figures on the door jambs. This temple contains no inscription, but on grounds of style and iconography, it is more developed one than the Mukhalingeswara temple and may be placed in the second half of the 9th century AD.

Monument No: 3

Monument Name: BHIMESVARA TEMPLE, MUKHALINGESVARA TEMPLE

Location: Mukhalingam

Brief History:
The temples of this place constructed during the 8-9th centuries AD by the Eastern Gangas or Kalinga Gangas are the beauties in Nagara temple architecture.


BHIMESWARA TEMPLE:
The Bhimesvara temple is the latest of the three ancient temples at Mukhalingam. According to the inscriptions - found in the temple itself - the temple is refered to as the Aniyanka Bhima the name of the Ganga king Vajrahasta II (Aniyanka Bhima) who ruled from about circa 982 - 1016 century AD and this temple might have built by him. The temple is raised on a high platform and comprises of a main shrine, antarala and mandapa and faces east. The sikhara is comparable in style with the pidha deul of Orissa. On the three outer faces of the garbha-griha the wall niches enshrines Brahma (north), Dakshinamurti (south) and Narasimha (west) sculptures. Ganesa (south) and Mahisasuramardini (north) are seen on the outer wall of the antarala. The temple has a dozen inscriptions of the Gajapati period, but a few record donations of the time of Anantavarman of the Choda Ganga who were the successors of Eastern Gangas.

MUKHALINGESWARA TEMPLE:
The Mukhalingesvara temple is architecturally the earliest of the three main temples rising to a height of about 65 feet in Mukhalingam, a well known place of pilgrimage, constructed during the 8th-9th centuries AD. by the Eastern Gangas. The many inscriptions in the temple make it clear that its ancient name was Madhukesvara. This east facing temple is dedicated to Siva and is surrounded by a high prakara wall which is also the main gate, and on the south. The temple is a panchayatana type and has four subsidiary shrines at the corners enshrining the lingas dedicated to Indresvara, Agneswara and Yamesvara. There are two more subsidiary shrines on the northern and western wall enshring the figures of Saptamatrika and Kumarasvamy respectively. The sikhara of the main shrine is of the Pidha deul type of Orissa but has a curving exterior and is surmounted by a double amalaka, and its front mandapa is provided with a flat roof supported by six plain pillars. The subsidiary corner shrines carry towers, which resembles the early Bhuvaneswar type and display exuberant carvings on its doors and walls. On grounds of style, iconography and epigraphical date this temple can be datable to the second half of the 8th century AD.

Monument No: 4

Monument Name: BUDDHIST REMAINS:
(1) SIX IMAGES
(2) THREE IMAGES AND SOME MORE IMAGES ON THE HILL
(3) ONE IMAGE
(4) THREE IMAGES.

Location: Salihundam

Brief History:
No less than twenty Buddhist stone images and a stone votive stupa were found in the village of Salihundam. Of these twenty images only eight are really valuable, the others being either too decayed or mutilated. They all belong to the Mahayana school of Buddhism as indicated by their style and inscriptions and may be attributed to the ninth century. A few of the images have short Sanskrit inscriptions in Nagari characters engraved on their plinths or on the halos round the heads of some of the figures. The following is a description of the images.

1. Marici figure is fully life size carved out of single block of granite stands in the alidha pose. The upper portion of the body is portrayed nude except for a number of jewels and ornaments; the lower part of her body is clad in a thin cloth of flowing ribbon across the thighs. She is six-armed and three-faced and wears beautiful headdress with an ornamental oval-shaped halo at the back of the head. The left lower hand holds a bow by its string the end of which is depicted loose like a snare. The other five arms are broken. The remaining portion of the right hand she holds probably vajra or thunderbolt. The top right hand corner of the image is carved representing the Sun, and the top left hand corner with some flower. Above the plinth are carved two figures one on each side representing Dhyani Buddhas. There is a panel carved on the plinth or pedestal which is the representation of a chariot drawn by seven horses of Surya and driver by a female charioteer in the place of aruna the proper charioteer of the Sun God. The sides of the pedestal are portrayed with wheels one on each side. This sculpture bears a damaged inscription in Sanskrit of 13 lines in Nagari characters on the frame just below the elbow of the right arm extending downwards to the flowing ribbon below. The name of Sri Bhadrapala is met with in line 4. It would appear from the translation of the above inscription that a monk named Bhadrapada built a Buddhist temple for the merit of his teachers and parents.Size 6' 9" x 4' 4" x 1' 2".

2. A four armed stone image of the goddess (Tara) sitting cross legged on a lotus pedestal, with a large plain round halo at the back of her head. The left upper hand holds a flower, a vessel in proper left hand, showing the earth with proper right hand (Bhumi sparsa?). Her hair styled in twisted rope pattern with a jata-juta. She is seen wearing armlets, bangles, anklets and beaded chains around her neck. She is also seen wearing waist-belt and an yagnopavita. Size 5' 0" x 2' 6" x 1'2".

3. A seated image of a goddess (Tara) on a lotus throne, having two arms, holding a lotus in her proper left hand and the right foot hanging down and resting on a lotus carved in a panel. There are two female figures carved as worshipping at the base. It is inscribed on the plinth with the usual Buddhist formula beginning with "ye dharma" etc. Size 2'10" x 1'9" x 10"

4. A stone votive stupa slightly broken on the top. The plinth is inscribed with usual Buddhist formula. Size. 2'6" in height and 1' 7" width.

5. A seated image of Buddha cross-legged on a lotus pedestal in the usual conventional posture (Bhumi sparsa mudra). The proper left half (including) the face is broken and missing whereas the proper right side though broken can be mended. It is carved out of a single stone. The broken halo which can be seen is inscribed and with the usual Buddhist formula and also on the plinth. The base is decorated with two recumbent lions, one at each end and a seated Bodhisattva in the centre. At the back of the image is a simhasana supported by two rampant lions one on each side. Above it is a chauri bearer and the chauri bearer on the proper left is missing though traces of it are seen on the image. Size of the image 6'2" x 3'9" x 1'6".

6. An image of seated Buddha cross-legged in Bhumis sparsa mudra on a lotus throne with an oval-shaped halo and an umbrella above the head. Two gandharvas are portrayed above and below the throne are two stands containing offerings of some kind, apparently fruit. Size of the image 2'8" x 2'0" x 10".

7. A seated image of Bodhisatva, Avalokitesvara with a Dhayni Buddha in each upper corner and conventional lotus flowers decorating the sides of the image. The figure is much decayed. The plinth is ornamented with three little stands containing offerings of fruit. It has an inscription on the side of the stone giving the usual Buddhist formula. Size of the image 2'6" x 2'1" x 1".

8. A seated image of Bodhisatva, may be Avalokitesvara (or Padmapani) on a lotus throne with the right leg drawn up on which rests the right arm. Below on the plinth are carved two recumbent lions and in a centre a female devotee holding a lamp in her hand. The proper left upper portion of the sculpture is broken so as the left leg and and right arm. At the back of the image is a stupa and a flying Gandharva. The image is having peculiar head-dress whihc is uncommon to these parts. There is a halo at the back which is inscribed. The size of the sculpture is 2'2" x 1'7" x 1.

9. A nicely carved six armed stone image of goddess Marichi, cross-legged, sitting on a lotus throne with the right foot hanging below and resting on a lotus pedestal. By the side of her foot is to be seen a small circular one seems to be representing the sun and two female figures worshipping are portrayed on the plinth. The hands of the image are shown holding bell, drum, sword, in proper right and thunderbolt and proper left a bowl. There is a flying gandharva over her head to her proper left. The Goddess is seen wearing the usual jewels, bangles, armlets, anklets and necklacess around her neck. Size of the image 3'5" x 1'5" x 1".

10. A seated image of goddess (Tara) on a lotus throne, having two arms, though broken and mutilated was defaced. Her proper right foot is seen resting on lotus pedestal and a devotee is seen worshipping. There are two recumbent lions one on each side. Seems to have worn waist belt in four strands. The halo is inscribed in the same Buddhist formula "ye dharma" etc. - Face and at many places it is very much defaced.

11. A seated image of Buddha in meditation on a lotus throne. There is a female devotee and some lotus flowers at the base. At the back are seen two flying gandharvas holding umbrellas one on each side. The face of the image and at places is much disfigured.

12. Carved image of standing Buddha on a lotus pedestal (Bodhisattva Padmapani) in life size of a single stone. The head of the image and the proper left side is missing. Proper left hand is seen holding the stalk of lotus. The dress of the image from waist of foot is shown in frills which is looking natural. The size of it is 5'5" x 2'8" x 4".

13. A stone casket with a chaitya window opening 1'7". It might have been used for keeping a lamp.

14. Figure of Vishnu? head broken 27 x 40 x 8 cms

15. Seated Bodhisattva with it leg raised up and left flat on a lotus throne. Bear certain faces of two lions with a lady devotee on either side in niches 63 x 73 x 76 cms.

16. Oblitery figure of a deity with possibility trisula in the left hand (Mahisamardini) 75 x 45 x 19 cms.

17. Nandi head broken 43 x 30 x 18 cms.

18. Miniature stupa 19 x 40 x 13 cms.

19. Mahisamardini 30 x 48 x 7 cms.

Monument No: 5

Monument Name:EASTERN PORTION OF SALIHUNDAM HILL CONTAINING BUDDHIST REMAINS (A CHAITYA AND FOUR STUPAS)

Location: Salihundam

Brief History:
Salihundam is the name of a small village in the District of Srikakulam about 20 kms from the town of Srikakulam to the east. The village is situated on the banks of the river Vamshadara. To the south of the village running east to west and parallel to the river are two small rocky hillocks. The eastern hill contains important Buddhist remains on its summit and slopes, which were first discovered and reported to the Department of Archaeology by the late Rao Sahib G.V. Ramamurthy Pantulu. Three periodical excavations at the site were conducted from 1919, - first by Mr. A.H. Longhurst and later by Shri. T.N. Ramachandran and finally in 1953-54 by Dr. R. Subramanyam. The site was thoroughly excavated and the excavations yielded important structures of Buddhist faith and a rich crop of antiquities.

Srikakulam district formed part of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga. The village Salihundam might have once occupied strategic and influential position in the kingdom, being situated just 6 kms away from Calingapatnam, the then port town of the Kalinga. Kalinga though not mentioned in Vedic literature, is known to Mahabharata, the Puranas and the Jatakas. Asoka conquered Kalinga in 261 BC and king Kharavela was one of the great ruler from this area. Under the Satavahana patronage, Buddhism became quite flourishing and a number of Buddhist establishments developed in Kalinga also. After the down fall of the great Satavahana empire, Kalinga was conquered by the Guptas and after their fall it came under the Gangas. During their period the Chinese traveller Hien-T-Sang visited Salihundam and has left interesting account of his impressions about the place.

Buddhism took roots in Salihundam in the early Mauryan period or even earlier. Under the Satavahanas, it reached its zenith. Most of the extant remains at Salihundam may be traced back to this period.

The architectural remains unearthed at Salihundam not only reveal that the site was the seat of ancient Sangharama from 2nd century BC to 7-8th centuries AD., but also the meeting place of various traditions in the field of architecture. The monasteries here do not conform with the usual pattern that were existing in the other Buddhist sites excavated in the Krishna Valley, which were generally having, a stupa at one end and two chaitya grihas - one with the image of Buddha and the other with the votive stupa, followed by a central pillared hall and with cells all around. But at Salihundam, a circular stupa chaitya crowns the hill, while the viharas are spread out on the slopes wherever there was space. Even the stupas were not given any special or sanctified setting. They were all provided on small vedikas without any plan. This may be because for want of space on the hill and also irregular development of the monuments at various periods and at different stages of history.

As can be noticed the Buddhist stupas excavated in the north, generally are solidly built brick structures, the southern varieties, that is the stupas brought to light in Andhra Pradesh are wholly hollow and follow the wheel and hub pattern. In stupas exposed at Salihundam the ayaka platforms are absent. Only one stupa having a wheel base is found at Salihundam and the rest are all of northern solid type. Besides, there are no sculptural slabs portraying the life scenes of Buddha and that of his previous births or the jataka stories ornamenting the dome of the stupa like that found in Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda and in other Buddhist sites found south of Salihundam in the Krishna Valley. Some peculiarity can be noticed in the construction of the stupa chaitya also. Almost all the shrine chambers are circular with openings on one side enshrining the votive stupas, originally built of brick, veneered with cut stone slabs. They might have had circular roof, but unfortunately now all traces are extinct. From all the extant remains one could easily infer that Salihundam was a meeting place of the northern and southern styles of Buddhist architecture and the place might have been served as a connecting link between northern and southern schools of Buddhism. Numerous images of stone of Vajrayana tantric Buddhism viz., Tara and Marichi have also been noticed here to show that Buddhist activities were in existence in this place as late as to 7th-8th centuries AD.

The pottery unearthed during excavations from this site is also quite interesting. Number of inscribed pot sherds are there among the findings. Besides, mention should also be made of imported rouletted ware collection found during the digging, throwing light on the external contact over the seas with Rome, Salihundam had.

Thus the Salihundam, the ancient seat of Sangharama that flourished considerably for a long period of duration with trade contacts with Rome would have been a centre of Buddhist pilgrimate, attracting countless visitors in and outside India.

LARGE STUPA/MAHA STUPA:
The main stupa is situated on the top of the hill. On its eastern side there is a circular caityagriha. The stupa was built of large size bricks (46 x 28 x 8 CMS) and measures 14 meters in diameter. Though it is circular in shape, it deviated from the hub and spoke arrangement plan. The basement of the structure only remains to a height of 90 cm. The lower plinth of the basement has a curvilinear moulding, which may be called abatamala a name applied to the lower most slightly projecting moulding of the rail. The interior of the remaining basement was filled up with stones and earth. The top of the basement was paved with large bricks on which the dome (anda) was built. During the excavations in 1949-50 it was found three stone caskets and three crystal reliquaries in a horizontal row along with the diameter of the Mahachaitya arranged in equal distance from each other. The crystal reliquaries are shaped like stupa with all its parts- the medhi the anda and harmika. The shape of the central casket suggests the form of mahacaitya itself. The crystal reliquaries compare well with those of Bhattiprolu.

TWO SMALLER STUPAS (STUPA II AND III):
There are two small stupas to the west of the mahastupa with a diameter of 7.5 meters each. In one of the stupas a stone relic casket was removed before excavations. The stone relic receptacle was carved out of a granite block, measuring 36 x 31 x 13 CMS.

A SMALL STUPA/STUPA IV:
Another stupa was situated on the northeast of the mahastupa. Only a few courses of the brick basement remain, and the diameter of the stupa measures 8.85 meters. It is wheel shaped stupa with a hub in the center and eight spokes radiating from it. The space between the spokes was filled with earth and rubble. The central hub of the stupa measures 76 cms. in height and 2.75 meters in diameter and faced with bricks. It was filled with earth and stone. The bricks used for hub measure 28 x 18 x 8 cms. and are of the curved type. The inner spokes of the stupa and the outer edges (rim portion) are constructed with big size bricks, measuring 43 x 28 x 8 cms. The spokes measure 2.4 meters in length and 30 cms. in width.

BRICK CHAITYA:
There are altogether three apsidal caityagrihas at Salihundam.

CAITYAGRIHA:
This is situated about 30.50 meters below the mahastupa facing the east. In the apse there is a low brick platform measuring 30 cms. in height, 2.75 meters in length and 1.80 meters in width. The image of the seated Buddha made of brick and stone chips and lime mortar was installed on the platform. The head up to the chest and the hands of the image are missing. The gap between the image and the apse end was filled by earth to give strength to the statue. The original height of the seated Buddha figure is estimated to be 3.65 meters. But it measures now only 1.20 meters from the floor level. The inner length of the caityagriha is 7.30 meters and it is 3.80 meters in width. The side walls appear to have been 91.5 cms. in thickness and built of large bricks measuring 5.50 x 3.35 x 0.90 meters.

APSIDAL CAITYAGRIHA II AND III:
The two-apsidal caityagrihas situated immediately after the gate, are specially conspicuous on account of their imposing appearance. Both of them are Buddha caityas and a re apsidal in plan. They are situated on the slope of the hill on the way to Mahastupa. One of the Buddha caityas is badly damaged. The seated image of Buddha in the apse is also damaged. The image is made of stucco. The stucco figures of Buddha are rarely available in Andhradesa. The second Buddha caitya was less damaged than the first. The apsidal-end has a huge basement constructed with brick and lime mortar. On this pedestal a seated figure of Buddha made of brick and stucco was installed. But presently only the cross-legged portion remains. The upper portion of the pedestal, facing the entrance is decorated with five sunken panels. Two of them identified as lion-heads. The panels are made of brick and stuccowork.

The exteriors of both the caityagrihas are decorated with moulding at their bases. Terracotta finials are discovered inside the caityagrihas attesting that the caityagrihas contained vaulted roofs with terracotta finials. The second caityagriha yielded two pots and one of them incised with an inscription datable to second century AD.

APSIDAL STUPA, CAITYAS IV AND V:
One of these is situated on the eastern part of the hill almost on its summit. This caityagriha has been elevated to a prominent position over the other monuments around it. This was constructed with brick and mud mortar but externally coated by lime plaster. The center of the caitya accommodated a votive stupa made of lime stone.

SALIHUNDAM VIHARAS:
Excavations on the hilltop of Salihundam have exposed five monasteries with kitchens and dining halls. The main entrance to the monasteries is at the foot of the hill and is in the shape of svastika. On the basis of an inscribed potsherd which reads "Mahavihara sali (petaka)" in the script of about second century A.D. It is held that the vihara at Salihundam was called Salipetaka Mahavihara consists of five viharas. They are arranged along the paved pathway from the foot of the hill to the top.

VIHARA I:
This is situated on a terrace about 3 meters higher than the main entrance along the southern side of the paved pathway. The entrance is made by a gateway, which opens, into the main pathway. The monastery consists of a pillared hall surrounded by cells on three sides- north, east and south and each cell measuring 2.75 x 2.15 meters. The Buddha caitya was situated on the western side of the outer prakara wall, which serves as a retaining wall for the monastery complex. On the east and south sides random rubble revetment is provided.

The main walls measure 56 cms. thick and the partition walls measure 25 and 28 cms. thick. The floors of the cells were plastered with lime mortar mixed with pebbles. The size of the bricks varies from 50 x 27 cms. to 54 x 27 x 7.5 cms.

The large pillared mandapa measures 13.75 x 10.75 meters. It is supported by sixteen pillars, one row running north to south and three such rows from east to west. The pillars are carved out of stone, square in shape (40 CMS) with height 3 meters excluding the fort like 15 CMS projectors, at the top for securing the beam. At the middle of the pillars round shafts were carved. On the south west of the mandapa a long passage was laid with lime mortar mixed with pebbles on the bricksoaling.

VIHARA II:
This monastery is completely in ruinous stage and only traces of some of the walls remain. There is a central passage running east to west flanked by cells on either side. Four cells were arranged on the north side and an equal number might have been made of the south side also. There are two cells on the southwest. The floors of the cells were laid with thick lime mortar mixed with pebbles as in the case of the first monastery.

VIHARA III:
This monastery was situated on a higher terrace to the west of the monastery II. This monastery also has a central passage with two sets of rooms at two different levels. At the lower level three cells were arranged, each measuring 2.75 x 2.15 meters and running north to south, with a verandah to the west. There is a 'U' shaped drain.

VIHARA IV:
This is situated at higher level to the south of the pavement and just behind the Buddha caitya. Two rectangular cells have been exposed measuring 1.35 x 1.65 meters and 1.65 x 2 meters. The floors were laid with lime concrete and the cells seem to have been shrine chambers. Here a portrait of Lord Buddha in Gandhara style has been unearthed. Enclosing these two cells on three sides there are nine cells, three on each side- south, east and west. These appear to have been added at a later phase. A brick staircase was provided to reach the next terrace.

VIHARA V:
This lies to the west of the Vihara II and at a higher level. It consists of the remains of monastic cells, an apsidal temple, a stupa and a rectangular room. This room has a raised plinth at the western corner-giving rise to suspicious whether it served as a shrine chamber. It faces north and to the south of the main pavement.

OTHER BUILDINGS:
On the northern slope of the hill, the entire area has been divided into two terraces where there are traces of buildings, identified as kitchen, dining hall and storerooms. Here the halls are comparatively bigger in size and are better preserved. Steps were provided on the southern side to reach this area. The rectangular room to the west of the staircase was probably used as a kitchen. Behind this room at a distance of 9.15 meter is situated three cells with a verandah. They might have been storerooms of the kitchen. To the east of the kitchen room is a rectangular hall, apparently used as dining hall. To the north of the dining hall, adjacent to it is another massive pillared hall. It was probably 'uposataghara'. At a higher level at the western extremity of this area, a few small cells have been constructed in which number of dishes have been unearthed.