Lonely Planet review
Once the Andhran capital and a significant Buddhist centre, Amaravathi is India’s biggest stupa , measuring 27m high. It was constructed here in the 3rd century BC, when Emperor Ashoka sent monks south to spread the Buddha’s teaching. Located 60km west of Vijayawada, all that remains are a mound and some stones, but the nearby museum has a small replica of the stupa, with its intricately carved pillars, marble-surfaced dome and carvings of scenes from the Buddha’s life. It also has a reconstruction of part of the surrounding gateway, which gives you an idea of the stupa’s massive scale. It’s worth the trip, but many of Amaravathi’s best sculptures are in London’s British Museum and Chennai’s Government Museum.