Walking through the beautiful meadows at the Thotlakonda monastery, one can hardly miss the remarkable vast stretch of the rhythmic waves and the artistically cut out rock caves at the seashore of the dynamic sea. The Hinayana Buddhist complex flourished almost 2000 years ago at the coast of the Bay of Bengal at the soothing and calm rock cave beach of Thotlakonda. The Telugu name Toṭlakoṇḍa derived from the presence of a number of rock-cut cisterns hewn into the bedrock of the hillock.
In the past few decades, the shore of Thotlakonda has undergone a transformation in terms of the establishment of restaurants and organisation of community programs. This has brought the human society and the marine world closer which in turn enhances the bond between the two important components of nature. With limited tourists visiting this seashore and the maintenance carried out by the commercial establishments, the beach boasts of its purity and exemplary scenic beauty. The marine life at Thotlakonda beach thrives healthily and beautifully with frequent visits by the crawling crabs and steady turtles.
Talking about the cultural influence of the beach and the adjoining monastery, Thotlakonda provides a perfect insight into the process of transoceanic diffusion of Indic culture, especially Buddhism. It was discovered during an aerial survey by the Indian Navy in order to set up a naval base. The curved coastline provides a strategic location to safely anchor the ships. Thus, this beach was considered to be one of the most significant spots on the eastern coast in terms of security as well as spirituality.
The sparkling and exemplary beach of Thotlakonda is because of the cumulative efforts of the administrative bodies as well as the responsible behaviour of the regional people. The locals of Thotlakonda have set an example for us that it is possible to retain the charm and splendour of the environmental elements with conscious human efforts and strong determination. We must learn from them and pledge to protect and preserve the bounty of nature from the selfish and greedy worldly intentions of human beings.