It is located at a distance of 16 KM from Visakhapatnam city on the beautiful beach road connecting Visakhapatnam and the historic town of Bheemili. Located at a height of 128 meters on a hilltop near the village Mangamaripeta, this complex was first discovered by an aerial survey by Indian Navy. Excavation of the place done during years 1988 to 1992. This complex was active between the year 200 BC and 200 AD. This place was inside the Kalinga region which was instrumental in promoting Buddhism to Sri Lanka, Burma and many other places. Thotlakonda was identified as Hinayana Buddhist complex and AP tourism with the help of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority has taken up many development works to promote this place in tourism map of Andhra Pradesh. Welcome gate by the side of the beach road with an entry fee and good tar road at the top of the hill is constructed by the local body.
Meditation halls are designed to protect Monks from outside disturbances with stupas at the centre and guards at the entrance of the hall. The layout of Kitchen and resting place for Monks are still giving a glimpse of the simple life of them. The direction of Sunrise and sunset are marked in stones.
Monks visiting this Buddhist school from far places like China, Burma and other countries came through the sea route and used to stay here for months and year before completing their study.
The complex have number of Stupas, chaityas and viharas. There are many rock cut troughs available here. Out of the 12 tubs used for storing drinking water four are available within the complex and others were little outside the area. One of the troughs at the top of the hill still holding water in the all the seasons and never went dry in past many years.
Probably the Telugu name Thotlakonda is derived from the Thotti ( tub ) and Konda ( hills ) names. The old refractory of Hinayana culture gives examples of maritime trade during the period. Monks visiting this Buddhist school from far places like China, Burma and other countries came through the sea rout and used to stay here for months and year before completing their study.
The eagle shaped hill top gives a panoramic view of the sea and the curved costline. This was one of the ideal spot for the Buddhist monks to establish a monastery here. The proximity of other Buddhist site nearby like Bavikonda, Sankaram and some other places has made Vizag as one of the Buddhist heritage destination place.
APTDC tourist restaurant
One nice tourist restaurant has come up in front of the entry gate of Thotlakonda. Built in traditional style the restaurant has excellent view of sea in an open space. Good parking and washrooms are available here.