UPSC Prelims 2023
Prelims General Studies Paper - 1
Jun 08, 2023
2 min read
In which one of the following region was Dhanyakataka, which flourished as a prominent Buddhist centre under the Mahasanghikas, located?
The correct answer is C. Kalinga
Dhanyakataka, also known as Amaravati, was an ancient city located in the region of Kalinga, which encompassed parts of present-day Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in India. During its heyday, Dhanyakataka emerged as a prominent Buddhist center that thrived between the 3rd century BCE and the 3rd century CE.
Situated in the picturesque landscape of Kalinga, Dhanyakataka was renowned for its close association with the Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism. The Mahasanghikas were one of the early Buddhist schools, known for their unique beliefs and practices.
One of the main highlights of Dhanyakataka was its magnificent stupa, a monumental structure that served as a focal point for Buddhist worship and pilgrimage. This stupa, adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, depicted various significant events and teachings from the life of the Buddha. These sculptures are considered masterpieces of ancient Indian art and showcase the incredible craftsmanship of that era.
Besides the impressive stupa, Dhanyakataka boasted a thriving community of Buddhist monastic institutions. These monasteries provided a sanctuary for Buddhist monks, who lived, studied, and practiced their teachings within their tranquil walls. The monasteries played a vital role in the propagation of Buddhist philosophy and attracted scholars, practitioners, and students from far and wide.
The serene atmosphere of Dhanyakataka, coupled with its religious significance, made it a popular destination for devout Buddhists seeking spiritual enlightenment. Pilgrims flocked to the city to pay homage to the stupa and engage in religious rituals, fostering a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere.
Dhanyakataka's significance as a prominent Buddhist center gradually waned over time, but its legacy continues to inspire and fascinate historians, archaeologists, and art enthusiasts who marvel at the remnants of its glorious past. Today, the site stands as a testimony to the rich Buddhist heritage of the Kalinga region and serves as a reminder of the profound influence Buddhism had in ancient India.
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