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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : British Museum : Room 33A

Today we arrive at British Museum Room 33A – Amaravati, for our weekly Museum Guide excursion, led by Divvya Nirula.

Visit Room 33A to travel back in time to Amaravati, an important Buddhist site in ancient India. Presented here are our top three must-see objects on view here. Next time you visit the museum, do not miss these!

1. The Great Departure of Prince Siddhartha, 2nd century, by Unknown
2. Railing Pillar, 2nd century, by Unknown
3. Crossbar, 2nd century, by Unknown

Image credit for artworks : British Museum

Some fun facts about the Museum :

  • Amaravati’s history dates back to the 2nd century BC. At the time, it was the capital city of the Satavahana Dynasty.
  • Apart from being an important centre for trade, it was also an important place for Buddhists. It was home to several Buddhist schools, as well as art and architecture inspired by Buddhism.
  • Amaravati was located in what is present day Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • The Great Shrine of Amaravati was arguably one of the most important Buddhist monuments of the era, visited by Bodhisattvas from all parts of the region.
  • While the structure of the Shrine itself remains in India even today, several sculptures, dubbed as the Amaravati Marbles, are housed at the British Museum.
  • These sculptural reliefs depict the life of Gautam Buddha.
  • These sculptures were taken by the East India Company when India was a British colony.

A Final Thought :

It is interesting to note that India’s colonial history is also part of the story of these ancient sculptures. While some parts of the Amaravati structures still remain in India, these reliefs were separated and taken overseas to Britain.

Visit Art From Us Archive for Museum Guide collated by Divvya Nirula. Here you shall find more suggestions on where you should visit next. And what you should see there. 

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