Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex is a group of Buddhist monasteries, located at a height of 128m on a hill top. The discovery of this Buddhist site is attributed to accidental notice by Navy, who performed an air survey to set up a naval base. Thottlakonda is at a distance of 16 km from Vizag and gives a majestic glimpse of the Bay of Bengal.
The Buddhist complex was used between 200 BC and 200 AD by followers of Hinayana Sect. The rulers of Kalinga Dynasty are said to have influenced the practices of Buddhism in this area, in Burma and Sri Lanka. The term ‘Thotlakonda’ is derived from several ‘thottis’ or troughs (about 12) that exist in the complex. Historians have also suggested that the place was earlier called ‘Syena’ or ‘Eagle’ as the hill summit resembles the shape of an eagle. The presence of Chaityas and Viharas suggest a combination of religious and academic practices in the monasteries. Noteworthy sights in this complex include the stone directions of sunrise and sunset, troughs for storing water, arrangements for cooking, accommodation and clothing. It is believed that Buddhists from China, Sri Lanka traveled through sea, arrived and stayed here for months or years to complete parts of their religious learning.
When to go
How to reach
Thotlakonda Buddhist site is just 16 Kms from Vishakhapatnam city. It is situated on the road runnning between Vishakhapatnam and Bheemli. You can take an auto, cab or get onto any of the bus going to Bheemli and get down at this site.