India’s biggest stucco sculpture unearthed in Telangana

Archaeologists in Telangana have recently unearthed a rare life-sized stucco sculpture from a Buddhist site at Phanigiri in Suryapet. It is considered to be the biggest stucco sculpture found in the excavations in the country till date. The sculpture is about 1.73 metres in height and 35 cm in width. According to officials of department of heritage, the sculpture represents one of the Bodhisattvas belonging to the Jathaka Chakra. It is believed that a life size stucco Bodhisattva was created nearly 1,700 years ago by craftsmen at Phanigiri at the peak of Ikshavaku dynasty rule. Apart from the life-sized stucco, these excavations brought to light a Mahastupa, apsidal chaitya grihas, votive stupas, pillared congregation halls, viharas, platforms with staircases at various levels, sculptural panels with Brahmi inscriptions, belonging to Satavahana period from first century BC, continued with Mahayana till the end of Ikshuvaka period and others in 3rd – 4th century AD.

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