Dhulikatta village of Eligaid Mandal is present in Karimnagar district, Telangana.
The Buddhist Stupa dates back to the 2nd century BC and one of the 30 walled cities mentioned by Megasthenes is located in Dhulikatta village. The site for historical significance is neglected for several decades by the government. Dhulikatta village got its name from ‘Dhulikota’ which means a fort made of mud.
In the year 1975, the Archaeology Department discovered the heritage structure near the shores on the outskirts of Dhulikatta village. The Buddhist Stupa was constructed on a mound with lightweight bricks. Moreover, it is embellished with sculpted veneer slabs and beautifully carved limestone slabs. The site had attained importance as it was constructed with 47 slabs to enhance the dome with the Stupa.
The Archaeology authorities had discovered some other relics such as gateways built with lightweight bricks, maha stupa, Chatra, residential houses, wells, bangle pieces, ivory combs, gold objects, punch-marked coins, beads, coins of Romans and Satavahanas and seals. The excavations had revealed coins and the seals used by the Satavahanas and Romans during their time. This depicts that financial dealings between the two countries were prevalent at that time.
The majority of findings were shifted to the present Andhra Pradesh State Museum. Rest of the antiques lie in the Karimnagar Museum. Telangana State government is planning to promote tourism by developing a Buddhist circuit covering Dhulikatta and other ancient Buddhist structures located in the Nalgonda district.
The sphere-shaped dome of the main Stupa was built by using forty-seven blocks of limestone and the blocks were adorned with symbols of ‘Muchalidanaga’. According to Buddhist folklore, it means a serpent.
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Other than the Mahastupa there are other artifacts unearthed from the nearby spots. They are also spiritually and historically significant. The Charmachakra Stupa is significant too. The clay pottery used for household purposes which is of different colors such as red and black depicts the lavish life led by the people of that era.
Some other significant arts include a statue of a mother holding her child in her left hand, made of bronze. The Buddhist symbol which is one of the eight symbols and the footprints of the Buddha can also be found here. Many coins of different denominations and jewelry can is found.
Although the site has such historical significance, it has many concerns. Even after the discovery of the ancient Buddhist stupa, the government authorities have failed to develop and protect the heritage site for the promotion of tourism.
The authorities even failed to provide road facilities to the ancient protected monumental structure after several pleas by the officials and historians. The heritage site is just 33 km distance from the district headquarters. But still, reaching the Stupa is a difficult task due to the non-availability of the road.
And, due to the lack of proper security at the monuments, some miscreants had damaged the ancient monument and stolen away the antique veneer slabs and other panels and bricks. There were also incidents of miscreants digging the structure in search of a treasure hunt in the past.
Best time to visit: It is advisable to visit this place from the month of October to March to explore the place.
How to reach Dhulikatta
Dhulikatta village is about twenty-five kilometers away from Karimnagar city. The nearest Airport is Hyderabad which is about 175 km far from Dhulikatta. From there, one can hire private vehicles. Situated about 20 km away from Dhulikatta the nearest Railway Station is Peddapalli. One can hire private vehicles from those places to reach Dhulikatta.
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