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128 meters above sea level overlooking the sea Thotlakonda(‘thotla’ meaning trough and ‘konda’ meaning hill) derives from the presence of a number of rock-cut troughs hewn in the bedrock of the hillock. These rectangular troughs, which can still be seen, were used for storing water that used to be purified with herbs. Thotlakonda was influenced by the ancient Kalinga region, which was an important source of dissemination of Buddhist culture to Sri Lanka and various parts of South East Asia. A hill on the seacoast with a salubrious climate was the ideal place for Buddhist monks to build a monastic complex here. The placid sea sheltered by the deeply curved coastline provided a safe haven for anchoring ships. Thotlakonda came to light during an aerial survey by the Indian Navy, and excavations conducted during 1988-93 established the existence of a Hinayana Buddhist complex, which flourished two thousand years ago. To the south of the complex there is a tank that served as a water source for inmates of the monastery. It is estimated that the monastery accommodated more than a hundred Buddhist monks. The excavations revealed Satvahana lead and Roman silver coins, indicating foreign trade. Terracotta tiles, stucco decorative pieces, sculptured panels, stupa models in stone, Buddha padas, etc. were also found. Thotlakonda had witnessed peak activity between 2nd century BC and 2nd century AD owing to brisk Roman trade and religious missions abroad. The complex had arrangements for storing food, clothing and medicines, and served as an academic center. It declined by the 3rd century AD, owing to the rise of Hinduism and decline of maritime trade.
The name Totlakonda has been derived from the presence of rock cut throughs hewn in the bed rock of various shapes, sizes with 4 to 8 steps in the hillock by which water has been drawn for drinking water purpose. Thotlakonda lies about 15 Km. from Visakhapatnam in beach road located 128 meters high above sea level. The archaeological excavations reveals antiquities like Maha stupa Viharas, Votive stupas, Chaitya Gruhas, pillared hall, congregation hails, tiles, finials Buddapadas, Eppatra pieces, engraved with Brahmelipi recovered from the site of Mangamaripeta hill and reflects the Kalinga and Andhaka schools of Buddism.
Things to Do  
Explore for better understanding of the buddist architecture, living style.
How to Reach There
AP tourism includes thotlakonda in thier daily sightseeing trips and if you prefer to go on your won you can take your own vehicle to reach thotlakonda on the beach road to Bhimili.
Suggested Itinerary
Full Day Itinerary Simhachalm, Zoo Park, Bhimili, Thotlakonda, Bavikonda, Rushikonda, Kailashgiri.
Events and Attractions  
DoThe architectural style of the complex is simple yet elegant with meditation halls mainly designed to offer peace and silence for monks. The stupas are positioned right in the heart of the complex while the hall is looked after by two guards standing by the entrance. Thotlakonda is also home to many stupas and viharas. The cooking area as well as the resting place used by monks creates a clear picture of how simple their lives used to be.









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