Jaggayyapeta, a town earlier known as Bethavolu is located on the banks of the Paleru River, a tributary of the Krishna River. The heart of Jaggayyapeta’s cultural significance lies in the Buddhist Stupa it houses, believed to be built during the Satavahana rule.
Here we take a trip, back to its glorious past and explore a wonderful set of revelations that come along.
Earning the name ‘Jaggayyapeta’
There’s an interesting fable-like past to how the town earned its present name, Jaggayyapeta. To the east of the town, on a mound known as Dhanambodu (the hill of wealth), a mid-19th century -historian Robert Sewell was the first one to report a Stupa that clearly looked disturbed. In the latter half of the century, J Burgess began work on its excavation.
However, the place, left undiscovered for about two centuries, wouldn’t have seen itself in the present shape but for the Chintapalli-based Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu who contributed a major chunk in its development as a town. The town was later named after his father, who was killed by a set of French troops sent by the Nizam ruler Basalat Jung.
Interestingly, he also founded a town Achampeta, named after his mother Achamma which finds a mention in Telugu verses of eminent poets too. Venkatadri Naidu had helped construct temples of Lord Shiva and Vishnu during his prime as well.
Digging into Its Cultural Riches
The excavations conducted over the years also helped unearth a Mahastupa, having a 31.5-feet-long diameter, resembling the one at Amaravati in terms of the embellishments with the sculptural slabs and a processional path width of about 10.5 feet.
The sculptural panels in addition to an inscription, having been carved with the likes of winged animals, capitals, pilasters and other historic antiquities, date back the site to the times between the 2nd century B.C. and the 6th century B.C.
Intricate Features of These Sculptures
- A select series of fourteen sculptures extracted from the site have also been put to display in the Govt. Musuem, Chennai, of which the undamaged standing Buddha is an exclusive one, not only in terms of style but even considering its age in comparison to the other finds.
- One of the sculptures that depict Chakravarthi, better known as the universal monarch, showcases the Ikshavaku phase of Amaravati School of Art. The elongated structure of the figures shows a definite contrast to the Gandhara School, that was more known for its stunted representations.
- A set of seven jewels that surround the sculpture, including the queen, the prince, the minister, the elephant, the horse, the wheel, and the gems is believed to be an indication of his stature as the king of kings. Other features of the sculpture include the square-shaped coins showered on the emperor from the sky besides the jewels that adorn the human-figures.
Ways To Reach Jaggayyapeta
- Nearest Railway Stations: Bonakalu (25 km), Tondalagpavaram (39 km), Vijayawada Junction (77 km)
- Nearest Airport: Vijayawada (94 km)
- Nearest Bus Stations: Jaggaihpet Bus Station , Jaggaihpet Highway Bus Station , Kodad Bus Station