Nagarjunakonda is basically a Buddhist heritage site located near Nagarjuna Sagar in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. The ancient location witnesses dilapidated ruins of stupas, temples, monasteries, a university, cemetry and an amphitheatre. The site is termed as Sri Parvata and is touted as one of the richest Buddhist sites. It is also identified as the Ashwamedha site, a ritual of horse sacrifice by the Ikshvaku Dynasty. There was a famous Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna who propagated the philosophy of Shunya and an island in the Nagarjuna Sagar is named in his fond memory. There are several archaelogical sites having remains of Buddhist civilisation. After the excations were performed at the site, ancient articles andinscriptions were found dating back to 1800 years. The ruins were founded in 1926 most of which got submerged in one of the largestman made lakes in the world. The highlight is the Gandhara style of architecture.
Places To SeeArchaeological Site
More than 100 sites ranging from the pre-historic period to the medieval have been discovered in this region. The important remains have been moved and reconstructed on the hill nearby. The hill houses 14 large replicas of the ruins. The excavations have revealed the remains of Buddhist monasteries, many limestone sculptures and other remains. Mallikarjuna Temple
The Mallikarjuna Temple attracts Shaivite pilgrims. Dating to the 14th century, the temple houses 12 jyotirlingas. The temple had been at the receiving end of some attacks in the past as a result of which the exteriors have been damaged. However, you can still see the intricate carvings and sculptures. Tip
: To avoid long queues, it is advisable to arrive early morning and witness the first prayers that take place at 5. 45 am. The hill fort
Dating to the early 14th century, the fort brings alive the culture and architecture of the Vijaynagar empire. The entrance is near the place where the ferry lands on the island. At some places, the walls of the fort are still over 6 meters high and feature regular bastions and six gateways. Nagarjunakonda Island Museum
The museum houses an interesting collection of coins and ornaments. The main highlights are the sculptures of Buddha, including a 3-m-high standing Buddha. You can also see some educative prehistoric and pre-historic remains and several panels and friezes that depict Buddhist scenes.
Things To DoSrisailam Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is located on the banks of the River Krishna, near Nagarjunasagar. This is the only tiger reserve in Andhra Pradesh. You can book your stay in any of the three rest houses that together have 40 bed capacity. You can spot animals such as leopards, Indian pangolins, wild dogs, crocodiles, panthers, civets, and hyenas. Tip
: The sanctuary remains disturbed by Naxal activities and sometimes it may be difficult to get permission to visit. Ethipothala Waterfalls
The mountains streams cascade down a height of 70 feet down to the Chandravanka hills, forming a beautiful lagoon at the base. The place is a great to rejuvenate and enjoy the surrounding beauty. The waterfalls are located about 11 km away from Nagarjunasagar Lake. Nagarjunasagar Dam
The dam is built across River Krishna and is considered to be one of the world’s largest masonry dams, with a storage capacity of 11, 472 million cubic meters of water. An engineering wonder, it is one of the earliest hydro-electric and irrigation projects in India.