- Nagarjunasagar- A Buddhist Seat of Learning
The ancient Buddhist settlement of Nagarjunasagar lies at a distance of
150 Km from the city of Hyderabad. The town was originally known as
Vijayapuri, meaning the city of victory. It derives the name
Nagarjunasagar from its rich ancient Buddhist heritage. The city was a
flourishing Buddhist center in the past with many Viharas, Stupas and a
university under the Buddhist scholar and philosopher Acharya Nagarjuna.
Extensive archeological excavations done in the region has unearthed several Hindu temples and Buddhist Viharas here. The actual site of excavations has been flooded by a dam constructed across the river Krishna. The relics of the past were relocated safely to nearby areas, to prevent submersion. These ancient structures are preserved in excellent condition even today, although they have been relocated from their original setting.
Nagarjunasagar dam, the largest masonry dam in the world, is 124 meters
high and stretches over a distance of 1 km. This massive irrigation
project on River Krishna was completed in 1969, helping to perk up the
irrigation scenario of the state. Water from this dam is supplied for
irrigation purposes to many districts in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of
the earliest hydro-electric projects in India. It also boasts of the
largest network of canal systems in the world. Tourists come here to
watch the turbines in action and to enjoy the scenic beauty.
Nine Buddhist monuments were relocated to Nagarjunakonda hill, when the valley was threatened with submersion due to an upcoming hydro electric project. With the flooding of the valleys, the hill is now an island in the middle of the reservoir with a museum containing the Buddhist relics excavated from the site. The museum galleries display a superb collection of carved stone slabs, carved limestone slabs, inscriptions and sculptures, dating back to early 3rd century B.C. The island could be reached by boat from the mainland.
Anupu at a distance of 4 Km from the dam was selected for the relocation of a Buddhist University, unearthed during the excavations carried out in the valley. Each block of the University was painstakingly taken out, transported and reassembled at Anupu in all its original grandeur. This was done along the lines of the removal and reconstruction of the temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt.
At a distance of 8 Km from the dam is the Ettipotala waterfall. This splendid waterfall has created a beautiful lagoon in the river, making it an ideal spot for picnics. There is also a crocodile breeding center here set up by the Forest department.
The biggest wildlife sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh is located here between Nagarjuna dam and Srisailam. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of birds and animals and is an ideal place to spot the Indian tiger.
- Best Time To Visit
November to February.
- How to Reach
By Flight :
Nearest airport is at a distance of 150 km in Hyderabad.
Nearest railway station is at a distance of 29 km at Macherla.
Well linked with all cities in Andhra Pradesh.