Nagarjunasagar is a vast lake formed by the backed up waters of the Krishna River held back by a dam, which is almost 9,000,000 kW of power and canals irrigating thousands of square km. Take a motor launch to the island of Nagarjunakonda to see Buddhist ruins which were located on the hill which is now the entire island and other constructions which were rescued from the waters of the dam and re-sited on the island. The Museum holds Buddhist relics including coins of the Roman Emperors Tiberius and Hadrian. Also explore a re-sited Buddhist monastery ashore and Ethiupothala Falls (25 km) a 20 m high cascade of water.
Nagarjunasagar located in Nalgonda Distrcict, from Hyderabad by road 150 KM.A two and half hour pleasure drive from the capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad, takes you to the township of Vijaypuri. Nestled in the most picturesque surroundings, this was the seat of the erstwhile Iksvaku Kingdom over seventeen hundred years ago
The nearest airport is Hyderabad at a distance of 149 km
The nearest railhead is Macherla, on the Hyderabad-Guntur-Vijaywada railway line. From Macherala it is only 22 km by road.
The best way to reach Nagarjunasagar is by bus from Hyderabad (170 Km) or Vijayawada.
A two and half hour pleasure drive from Hyderabad, takes you to the township of Vijaypuri, nestled in the most picturesque surroundings, this was the seat of the erstwhile lkshavaku Kingdom, over seventeen hundred years ago. Here, be prepared for a truly magnificent sight that you are not likely to forget for a long time to come.
A feeling of awe and insignificance overcomes you when you lay eyes upon the Nagarjunasagar Dam for the first time. Its sheer size and magnitude leaves you breathless and astounded. As the tallest and largest masonry dam in the world, it truly stands as one of the wonders of engineering excellence.
Stretching across the might river Krishna, the barrage also has another distinction to its credit-it has created one of the world’s largest man-made lakes.
Significantly, the creation of this lake has submerged the excavations that were carried out here in 1926 which unearthed three historical sites Dhanyakataka, capital of the Satavahanas; Sriparvata Vijaypuri, capital of the Ikshvakus and a Buddhist civilization that thrived here in the third and fourth centuries B.C.
All the archeological findings and relics have been removed from here and carefully preserved on an island in the middle of the lake Nagarjunakonda.
Nagarjunakonda was one of the largest and most important Buddhist centers in South India from the second century BC until the third century AD. It was named after Acharya Nagarjuna, a renowned Buddhist scholar and philosopher, who had migrated here from Amaravati to propagate and spread the Buddha’s message of universal peace and brotherhood. The founder of Mahayana Buddhism, this revered monk governed the sangha for almost 60 years and the Madhyamika School he established attracted students from far and wide including Sri Lanka and China. The mammoth task undertaken to shift the archeological treasures and preserve them at another location is reminiscent of the famous Abu Simbel operation carried out in Egypt.
A short distance away at Anupu, the Buddhist University and stadium, which were excavated at Nagarjunasagar, has been reconstructed. The stadium boasts of the most amazing acoustic that is truly remarkable considering the time and age when it was built. Aplace that qualities as a ‘must-see’ for everybody in history, culture and architecture.
Just about 11 kms, From the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam are the Ethipothala Waterfalls on the Chandravanka River, a tributary of the Krishna. In absolutely scenic surroundings, you can marvel at the shimmering water as it cascades down 70 feet into a lagoon. The picture postcard beauty of the place with verdant valleys together with numerous cave temples that dot the hilly countryside, have made this a favorite picnic spot of visitors. While at Ethipothala, another place well worth a visit is the Crocodile breeding centre. Here you can safely see these reptiles from close quarters and observe their fascinating habits. Also do visit A.P. Tourism Souvenir Shop Gnapika at Ethipothala where you can buy great gifts & mementos crafted by artisans of Andra Pradesh
Srisailam lies about 70 Kms from Nagarjunasagar and can also be reached by an exciting 110 km boat ride from there. It holds pre-eminent significance for Hindus as this is where the famous Brahmarambha Mallikargunaswamy temple, one of the 12 Jyotilingas is situated. A masterpiece of ancient architecture, the temple is popularly believed to have bee in existence since pre-vedic times and where prayers are offered even today. For those with an inclination towards nature and wildlife, a visit to the Srisailam Tiger Reserve, which is the largest in India, is really exhilarating experience. The dense forest covering the Nallamalai range and along the bank of the river Krishna, is home to not just the tiger but also a wide variety of other animal and bird species.