Sanghārāma monastery, (near) Anakapalle, Andhra Pradesh, IN

Raw data

Sanghārāma monastery
This site is along the Orissa coast. The author gives only a casual note that the site has monk cells and the remains of a large assembly hall.
K.R. Subramanian, Buddhist Remains in Andhra and the History of Andhra between 225 and 610 A.D.
(Madras: Diocesean Press, 1932) p. 28.
Src: IN
Input by: SG Mar 29, 2009

"Sankaram is situated 41 kms west of Visakhapatnam and 3 km north of Anakapalle. The site has numerous monolithic votive stupas, rock cut caves and other structures built around the 7th Century. The main stupa was carved out of a rock and then encased in bricks.
The site has a brick built monastery. This consists of a rectangular court surrounded by small cells; in the middle is an apsidal-ended shrine. The hillside rock cut sanctuaries contain reliefs of Buddha. Another cave has images of Ganesha and Bhairava carved on the sides. Obviously the place was used for Hindu worship in subsequent periods."

Anakapalle, India Page
Other names: Anakāpalle
World:India:State of Andhra Pradesh
Lat 17.6833 Long 83.0167
Input by: tmciolek, Aug 29, 2009

"Sankaram, a small village, is situated about a mile to the east of Anakapalli in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. Within a short distance to the north of the village are two hills, one on the east called Bojjanna-konda and the other on the west called Lingala-konda both surrounded by paddy fields. The eastern hill [Bojjanna-konda] is on a higher elevation than the western hill [Lingala-konda] and its western slopes bear a series of rock-cut caves. Both the hills contain numerous monolithic stupas, rock-cut caves, chaityas and monasteries forming one of the most remarkable Buddhist establishments in Andhra Pradesh, the date of which assignable to a period from the 4th to the 9th centuries AD.
The name of the village Sankaram is evidently a corruption of Sangharama as these Buddhist establishments are generally known by this appellation.

The whole of the west slope of the eastern hill is covered with groups of monolithic stupas and a few some structural ones, standing on rock-cut platforms or terraces which converge to a large stupa on the summit which is partly rock-cut and partly constructed in brick. The dome of the stupa is found constructed of brick and is now partly extant. The brick casing of the circular and square platforms still remain. Groups of rock-cut and brick stupas and small chaityas surround this stupa. In two of the brick stupas, stone relic caskets in the form of miniature stupas were found. Some of the groups of the smallest of the stupas which stand on the terrace around the stupa are encased in square or circular brick buildings. On the west face of the eastern hill is a stepped way of about 65 steps leading to a double-storeyed rock-cut cave situated below the west end of the ridge. It faces the west and is the first one to be seen on ascending the eastern hill. The cave has sixteen pillars, or which five are broken, and it enshrines a monolithic stupa in the centre. There is a pradakshina-patha around it. On the ceiling over the stupa is a carving of a chhatra, i.e., umbrella which was originally connected with the top of the stupa, the shaft being now lost and gone. Above this cave is an upper storey with the figures of Buddha. In all, on this hill [Bojjannakonda], there are six rock-cut caves of which some have sculptured panels. In general, each panel consists of a seated Buddha and attendants.

At a lower level and situated against the north-east, east and south sides of the rectangular rock on which stands the chaitya, are long rows of brick cells with most of the walls intact. Facing those on the north and east sides and separated from them by a passage is another row of cells. These form the monastry for the Buddhist monks. There is also a stone [Linga being the name locally applied to the stupa]. image of the Goddess Hariti here at the foot of the hill.

The western hill or the Lingala-konda is covered with a large number of rock-cut stupas. Since the remains are all stupas and cut-out in rock along the ridge the hill acquired the popular name, the Lingala-konda. Numerous antiquities were recovered during the excavations conducted by Mr. Alexander Rea in 1907-08 on both the hills. Many of them were obtained at the ashy deposits at various places around the upper slopes of Bojjanna-konda. From this area were recovered pottery, coins of gold, copper and lead; seals, terracotta inscribed tablets, terracotta beads, and terracotta figures. A stone image of Hariti was also recovered from the site. One gold coin belonging to Samudra Gupta of the Gupta dynasty who ruled Magadha from 340 to 375 A.D. was found here. Some copper coins belonging to the Eastern Chalukya king Vishnuvardhana surnamed Vishamasiddhi (633 A.D.) were also obtained. Only one lead coin was found. It has the impression of a horse and as such might belong to the later Satavahanas. It is on the evidence of these antiquities that it has been possible to date the Buddhist settlement here as lying between the 2nd and the 9th century A.D. [… Terracota] tablets, belonging to various periods as determined by the paleography of the script on them, appear to be the offerings made by pilgrims who visited the site from time to time from the 4th to about the 9th century A.D. The variety of scripts in which these tablets are found written, viz., the Kalinga script (5th cent.), the Chalukyan script (7th cent.), the proto-Nagari script (8th cent.) and the east Indian or proto-Oriya-Bengali scripts (8-9th cent.), indicate that the Buddhist shrine and monastery here attracted devotees from different parts of India."

"Sankaram - Forty kilometres south-west of Vizag is this stunning Buddhist complex, better known by the name of its two hills, Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda. Used by monks from the 1st to 9th centuries AD, the hills are covered with rock-cut caves, stupas, ruins of monastery structures, and reliefs of the Buddha that span the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana periods. Bojjannakonda has a two-storey group of rock-cut caves flanked by dwarapalakas (door-keepers) and containing a stupa and gorgeous carvings of the Buddha (some restored). Atop the hill sit the ruins of a huge stupa and a monastery; you can still make out the individual cells where monks meditated. Lingalakonda is piled high with stupas, some of them enormous. Each hill requires some climbing and hiking."
Input by: tmciolek, Sep 26, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 12 Jul 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Sanghārāma monastery, IN.

General location of the Sanghārāma monastery, IN.
Lat 17.70956 Long 83.01541
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20IN)&ll=17.70956,83.01541&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Sanghārāma monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Andhra Pradesh

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 17.70956 Long 83.01541 - based on visual identification of a point on a path leading to Bojjannakonda (Eastern hill) and Lingalakonda (Western hill) sites, terrain/satellite imagery in - tmciolek, 26 Sep 2012.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag: 0333-66p - tmciolek 12  Jul 2014
0333-66p 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag: 0833-66p - tmciolek 12  Jul 2014

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Archaeological, epigraphical

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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