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Amaravati is an important place of pilgrimage for the Buddhist community in India.


Amaravati, AndhrapradeshAmaravati is famous for its world famous Buddhist sculptures and the Lord Amareswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that three principal things that make Amareswaram so sacred are River Krishna, on whose banks it is situated, an important Kshetra with a 'Sthalamahatyam' and the Sri Mahalinga Murthy, which is said to have embodied three sacred principles in one. It is said that in this temple, Lord Siva is in the form of five lingas that have been named as Pranaveswara, Agasteswara, Kosaleswara, Someswara and Parthiveswara. However the principal deities of the temple are Lord Amareswara and his consort, Bala Chamundika, the fourth of the 18 goddesses. Though there is no definite fact known about its origin, thousands of pilgrims visit the place every year. There are also other deities inside the temple. The origin of the temple shrouded in mystery, though there are many legends, puranic and historical, about it. But the sanctity and the holiness of the place attract thousands of pilgrims even now. Though the main River Krishna flows from West to East, the ancient temple of Amareswara is situated at a point where River Krishna takes a North-to-South course. According to a local belief, even if there is a flood in River Krishna, it will never harm the temple and would opt to take up a different course. This is the reason that it has taken a North-to-South course here.

According to the ancient Hindu beliefs, the places where the river takes a different course for short distances were considered to be very holy and sacred places and thus, temples were built there to pay homage to the Gods. The temple is built in the Dravidian style architecture and enshrines a 15 ft high white marble Shiva Lingam surrounded on all the four sides by towering gopurams and sporting the 'Vimana'. Some people believe that this temple was originally a Buddhist shrine because of the characteristic Buddhist slabs that has been found in its foundations. The Mula Virat in the Garbhagriha is a long vertical marble cylinder that have been used extensively in the Buddhist monuments and the white marble lotus Medallion above it has the delicate and ornate style, typical of the early Buddhist sculptures. Thus, this shrine is also considered sacred by the Buddhists. Amaravati is also known for housing the world famous Buddha Stupa.

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