Thotlakonda , Visakhapatnam
Thotlakonda is a Buddhist site located on the way to Bheemili Town. The name literally means Troughs which are used to store the rain water. Tourists can see that these cisterns are cut out of rock beds of this hilly region. Thotlakonda was a much influenced Kalinga region from where the Buddhism was carried out to Sri Lanka and various other parts of South- East Asia. Hinayana Buddhist complex came into spotlight when an excavation was conducted in the period of 1988 – 1993 by Archaeological Department of Andhra Pradesh. This complex dates back to 2000 years. The cisterns served the inhabitants of the monasteries as a water source. The monks might be much attracted by the pleasant climatic conditions prevailed here. The roman coins and Satavahana coins found here indicates that the foreign trade flourished here. Stucco decorative pieces made up of Terracotta are found here.
Tourists can also see Buddha Padas in Thotlakonda. The deeply curved coastline which helps in safe anchoring of ships indicates that the religious missions can be sent across the sea to various countries. Thotlakonda in its peak period was believed to have accommodated more than 100 Buddhist Monks. The Pudukas and other symbols of Lord Buddha which were excavated here indicate that the Hinayana form of Buddhism was practiced here in ancient period. This site will definitely takes the tourists to the Christian Era.