Archaeologists have discovered two stone pillars engraved with Buddhist inscriptions dated first century AD at the Goddess Bala Tirupura Sundari Temple at Tripuranthakam in Adhra Pradesh.
The pillars were found while the temple authorities were digging adascent to the temple complex. This led to the discovery of the bare foundations of a gopura structure and some Buddhist relics as well.
Experts opined that the existing temple was raised over a Buddhist site of Satavahana period.
Buddhist scholar and archeologist Dr E Siva Nagi Reddy said, “It is surprising to note that Buddhist remains are recovered from the premises of Goddess Bala Tirupura Sundari Temple. Temple authorities were renovating the buttressed compound wall which laid bare foundations of a gopura structure. A number of Buddhist remains were recovered,”
Nagi Reddy has also told the Deccan Chronicle that the pillars, which are carved on Planadu lime stone, had on them half lotus medallions which are a Buddhist symbol. The pillars also carry a two line Brahmi inscription which goes back to the first Century AD. There is another inscription in Devanagari script which goes back to the 10th century AD. He added that the pillars were used to raise the temple structure.
There are two Buddhist stupas located at Chandavaram and Dupadu in close proximity to Tripuranthakam.
Experts asked the temple authorities and endowments department to preserve the valuable Buddhist pillars which bear historical significance and to display in the temple premises.