DMPQ-Premium-. Write a short note on the evolution and influence of Buddhism in Andhra pradesh.

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The influence of Buddhism is subtle but deep-rooted in the land of Andhra. Dating back to pre-Christian era. The road to Kalinga, led to the north-eastern part of India. The road to Dravida or the south was different from the road to the south-west, which led to Karnataka. Similarly there were two paths, one leading to the north (to the city of Kosala) and the other to the north-west, that is the modern day state of Maharashtra. It was along these paths that Buddhist monks traveled and brought with them ideas and influences just as they took back bits of Andhra culture. Interestingly the famous Buddhist sites of Andhra Pradesh are all found along these routes. Nagarjunakonda and Amaravati lie on the south-western road to Karnataka while Ghantasala lies along the road to the south. To enumerate all the Buddhist sites in the land of Andhra would be to fill pages and pages of just names.

The influence of Buddhism is not always so easily discernible. It mingles so well with the local culture that the Buddhist elements are often not separable. The art of toy making, for instance, which flourishes in Andhra, could well have been influenced by the bright woodwork patronized by the Buddhist. In literature, one finds many works influenced by Buddhism. The great Buddhist saint Nagarjuna himself has contributed a corpus. The influence of Buddhism was deep rooted and subtle.

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