Introducing Bavikonda & Thotlakonda
The Vizag area’s natural harbours have long been conducive to dropping anchor, which helped monks from Sri Lanka, China and Tibet come here to learn meditation. Bavikonda and Thotlakonda were popular hilltop monasteries on the coast that hosted up to 150 monks at a time – with the help of massive rainwater tanks and, at Thotlakonda, a natural spring.
The monasteries flourished from around the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD, and had votive stupas, congregation halls, chaitya-grihas, viharas and refectories. Today only the ruins of these monastic compounds remain, but they’re impressive nonetheless, with a placid, almost magical, air and sea views to meditate on. Bavikonda and Thotlakonda are 14km and 16km, respectively, from Vizag on Bheemli Beach Rd. Vizag’s autorickshaw drivers charge around ₹500 return from RTC Complex to see both.