The great stupa or Mahachaitya at Amaravati was one of the biggest in Andhra Pradesh with a probable diameter of 50 meters and a height of 27 meters. It has a brick built circular vedika or drum with projecting rectangular Ayaka platforms in four cardinal directions measuring 7.20 X 2.10 meters each. Five Ayaka pillars must have stood on each platform symbolically representing the five main events in Buddha’s life viz., the birth, the great renunciation, the enlightenment, the first sermon and the final extinction. The drum and Ayaka platforms were covered with sculptured slabs. All the four-ayaka platforms have yielded seven crystal and one Ivory relic caskets, some of which contain bone-pieces, pearls, precious stones and gold flowers. This is a Sariraka type of stupa and hence it’s great importance.
Mounted on this circular drum stood an anda or hemispherical dome. Tall sculptured dome slabs covered the vertical part of the dome, above which came decorations in stucco. Scenes from the life of Buddha, Jataka stories, animal motifs, floral decorations formed the subject matter of these sculptures carved on the locally available light green limestone.The drum was crowned by a harmika or box like structure over which stood a chhatra or umbrella. All now missing except the remains of the plinth.