Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh
Amaravati is a small town situated on the banks of the River Krishna in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is an excavation site of an ancient Buddhist Stupa. It was also the capital of Satavahanas, the first great Andhra kings who ruled from the 2nd century BCE to the 3rd century CE, after the downfall of Maurya empire.
The Skanda Purana gives a picture of the place and the Siva temple located here. Sage Narada explains to Sounaka and other saints that Amareswara is situated in Amareswaram on the bank of river Krishna, and is on the southeastern side of the Srisailam temple. He also tells that Amareswaram is important because of three sacred things: the Krishna river, a Kshetra with a Sthala mahatmyam (land that has special powers) and the Mahalinga Murthy (God Siva in Linga form). When Devas were defeated by the demon Taraka, they came to reside in this Dhanyakataka and hence it is called Amaravati, the abode of the Amaras (means Gods).
HistoryLord Buddha preached at Dharanikota/Dhanyakatakam and conducted Kalachakra ceremony, which takes the antiquity of Amaravati back to 500 BCE. Taranatha, the Buddhist monk writes: "On the full moon of the month Caitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, the Buddha emanated the mandala of "The Glorious Lunar Mansions" (Kalachakra) . This shows that Dhanyakatakam (Amaravati) was a very important place in 5th century BCE. The recorded history of Amaravati and nearby Dharanikota is from 2nd century BCE. It was the capital of Andhra Satavahanas who ruled from 2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE. After the decline of Satavahanas, Ikshvakus and later Pallava kings ruled Krishna river valley. Subsequently, Eastern Chalukyas and Telugu Cholas held sway over the region. Kota kings were in control of Amaravati during the medieval times. Kota kings were subdued by Kakatiyas in 11th century CE and Amaravati became part of the unified Telugu empire.
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