INDIA, September 24, 2017 (The Hindu): A limestone plaque carved with Mahishamardhini image, which goes back to the second century CE, was reported from Veerapuram, a village submerged under the waters of the Srisailam reservoir in Kurnool district, signifying the presence of Durga Mahishasuramardhini cult during that period, according to E. Sivanagi Reddy, Chief Executive Officer of the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati. Mr. Reddy said that the plaque measuring 3.75 xX 2.85 inches was recovered during the excavations conducted by T. V. G. Sastry, G. Kamalakar and B. Kasturi Bai of the Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad.
The excavations brought to the fore the remains of 13 brick temples built between the second and third century CE. “This evidence is datable to the second century CE period of the Maharathis, a minor dynasty which controlled the region,” Dr. Reddy added. The rare and unique find also attested the fact that the worship of Durga in Mahishasuramardhini form of the Sakta cult had its origin in the Rayalaseema region during the early centuries CE, when the entire coastal Andhra was under the strong influence of Buddhism, he said.