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The small town ofAmaravatiin Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh is so called because of the famous Amareswaram Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This small town also houses the Amaravati Museum, an archeological museum constructed on the banks of Krishna River by the APTDC or Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporationthat showcases relics that are more than 2000 years old and are treasures that are invaluable.Amravati Museum is visited by historians, archeologists, curators of museums around the world and students of history and archeology, research scholars and people interested inthe history of our wonderful land. AmravatiMuseum is the ideal place where one can see and appreciate the best specimens of theAmravati School of Artthat has its roots in times of the Satavahanas.
The town of Amaravati was once known as Andhra Nagariand is a very important Buddhist site and pilgrimage place for Buddhists in South India because of the Mahastupa built by the BuddhistAcharyaNagarjuna more than 2000 years ago. Amaravati is considered the most sacred pilgrim centre for Buddhists in South India. The Amaravati Museum was built to preserve and exhibit the objects found at the archeological site discovered there which the ASI or Archeological Survey of India and the Archeology Department administers.
The Andhra Pradesh government has now renamed the Amaravati Museum and Interpretation Centre as Kalachakra Museum and Interpretation Centre to commemorate the rare Buddhist religious event, Kalachakra, that took place in Andhra Pradesh in January 2006. The Buddhist Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama inaugurated the museum during the event.
Amaravati is 33 km from Vijayawada APRTC Bus Stand.From GunturRailway Station the museum is only 35 km away. The museum is open on all days of the week from 10 AM to 5 PM and the entry fee is only Rs. 2 for visitors above the age of 15 years.
One of the three distinct and rich architectural traditions in Andhra Pradesh, the Amravati School can be traced back to the building style of the historical city of Amaravati under the rule of Satavahana Kings. This distinct style of architecture usescomplex and abstract sculpture with underlying religious themes.
The prehistoric Amravati School of Artis mentioned in the historical archives of the Satavahana era. This art form was widely used to adorn the ancient Buddhist Mahachaityasor the Mahastupa of Amravati and many artifacts from there are displayed in the main gallery of Amravati Museum. The lotus and the purna -kumbha designs, and other symbols of abundant prosperity point to the prosperity of the patrons the Satvahanas of this school of art.
One can see slabs, swastikas, and relics from the Buddhist religious beliefs and scriptures are exhibited on the first floor of the museum gallery while a life-size statue of Gautam Buddha. Other than Buddhist artifacts, there are many valuable pieces that tell us about the Satavahana Kings.