Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda
Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda are two buddhist rock cut caves on adjacent hillocks, near a village called Sankaram nearly 40 Km from Visakhapatnam, which are dated between 2nd and 8th century CE.
Bojjannakonda. View from down. The stairway to go up.
The caves are on two levels, Buddha statues are carved on top of the entrances of both levels. There is an unfinished carving besides the entrance in the lower level.
A small cave near the entrance. The monks must have had to bend a lot to go in.
The second pic is the main cave on the first tier. It has a stupa and pillars carved, with a pradakshina path around the stupa.
The climb to the upper tier. Buddha carvings on top.
The first picture is the entrance chamber in the second tier and the second picture is another Buddha in an inner chamber in the second tier.
The next hillock is Lingalakonda which gets its name due to the numerous stupas on the hillock. The path to go to the biggest stupa on the hillock.
The biggest stupa is in the first picture and second picture has many more stupas.
These caves were excavated by a team led by Alexander Rim in 1906. It seems all three phases of Buddhism, Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana are featured here. During the excavation, a gold coin of Samudragupta, Some copper coins of Eastern Chalukya king Vishnuvardhana (633 CE), a lead coin which may have been from the Shatavahanas were discovered along with terracotta beads and figures, thereby dating it as 2nd – 6th CE.
It is taken care of by ASI now.