Culture

Andhra CM announces name of its new capital Amaravati

April 02, 2015 06:42 AM
An aerial view of Dhyana Buddha sculpted at Dharanikota at Amaravati in Guntur

HYDERABAD: Amaravati will be the name of the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced on Wednesday. 

He told reporters after a cabinet meeting that it was unanimously decided to name the new capital Amaravati. The new capital is being built in Vijayawada-Guntur region and Amaravati, the ancient town on the banks of the Krishna river, is part of the region.


According to the sources, Naidu finalized Amaravati as the name of his upcoming capital on the rationale that in one stroke, a new modern capital can be linked to history dating back to at least 2000 years when the small town of Amaravati, which is about 32 km away from the core capital region, was a major Buddhist centre. 

Amaravati was the capital city of Satavahanas during 2-3 BC. The riverbank town later became the capital city of Ikshvakus and Pallavas. It was also part of the Delhi sultanate, Bahamani rulers and the Vijayanagara empire. 



Naidu said the new capital would have the strength of both the 'vaastu' and auspicious name. 

Naidu, who also briefed the cabinet about his visit to Singapore, said Singapore had come forward to build the capital. He said the master plan for the first phase of the capital would be ready by May 15. 

The chief minister announced that the new capital would be linked with radial roads. He said a 200-km-long ring road will be built connecting the new capital with Vijayawada and Guntur.

Since Amaravati is also associated with Telugu heritage dating back to the Satavahana kingdom, Naidu felt that it would be the most appropriate name for the AP capital. It was also felt that the name Amaravati will elevate the status of the new capital and will be embraced by all Telugus, whether they are in Andhra, Telangana, elsewhere in India, or abroad. 

Celebrations broke out in Amaravati in Guntur district 

AMARAVATI: Celebrations broke out in Amaravati in Guntur district on Monday after news spread that the state government had decided to christen its new capital city after the historical temple town. Though there has been no official announcement yet, locals flooded the streets and burst crackers. 

The state government is reported to have excluded Amaravati, which is on the border of the core capital area, from the land pooling scheme (LPS) and core capital region only to develop it as a heritage city. In fact, Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu included Amaravati in the heritage cities' list for development with central funds. The Centre has already granted Rs 25 crore for conservation of the ancient temple town under Hriday (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana) and promised to release more funds after getting the detailed project report (DPR) from the government. 

"We are fortunate that the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is being named after our town," said local historian Subbarao. 

Amaravati was the capital city of Satavahanas during 2-3 BC. The riverbank town later became the capital city of Ikshvakus and Pallavas. It was also part of the Delhi sultanate, Bahamani rulers and the Vijayanagara empire. 

Subsequently, it came under the rule of Golkonda Moghal and Nizam of Hyderabad before 1724. Although, the Nizam was believed to have ceded the area to the French in the 1750s, the British captured the region by 1759. 

Interestingly, Guntur region was back in the Nizam's fold for about two decades between 1768 and 1788. Finally, the British took over the Amaravati region by 1788. Despite being ruled by several kings, emperors and rulers, the heritage of Amaravati never lost its glitter till India achieved freedom. 

Most of the pre-independence rulers conserved the town and protected its monuments and historical structures. 

Amaravati is a world renowned Buddhist centre, but several ancient Buddhist structures were shifted to the Madras museum by the British. 

The town began losing its glory only after India gained freedom as the local government neglected the area. The successive governments paid little attention to either conserving the historical places or developing new ones in the last 65 years. 

"The decision to name the state capital after Amaravati will surely help conserve the ancient Buddhist town," said sculptor and senior government official Mallikharjuna Rao. Rao was architect of tallest Dhyana Buddha statue constructed in Amaravat.

Amaravati Temple in Guntur district

The ancient Amareswara Swamy temple on the pristine banks of river Krishna is also located in Amaravati. It is about 40 km away from Vijayawada and 32 km away from Guntur. It has population of 13,000 and is part of the Pedakurapadu assembly constituency.

 

 

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