The historic town of Nagarjunakonda is dedicated to the Buddhist philosopher, Nagarjuna widely considered one of the most important Buddhist figures after Buddha. He migrated to Amaravathi in Andhra Pradesh to preach Buddha’s message of universal peace and Mahayana Buddhism. He is also revered for establishing the Madhyamika Branch of Buddhism and his disciples belonged to countries like Sri Lanka and China.
Literally interpreted as the Nagarjuna’s hill, Nagarjunakonda represents the scintillating Buddhist legacy through its monastery, rich archaeological sites and sculpture. Located on an island near Nagarjunasagar Dam, this Buddhist heritage site depicts ancient Buddhist settlements that testify the presence of Buddhist monks and monasteries here. To preserve the legacy of the land, several Buddhist monuments have been reconstructed like Anoopa monastery and a museum exhibiting the rare excavated gems from the valley.
The excavations at Nagarjunakonda unearthed many Buddhist ruins, stupas, viharas (monastery complexs), chaityas (temples) and mandapams (pillared pavilions), as well as some outstanding examples of white marble depictions of the Buddhist Master Nagarjuna’s life. It is believed that he spent many of his years on this hill. The earliest Buddhist structure at Nagarjunakonda is the maha-chaitya, or stupa, constructed by King Chamtula’s sister in the third century AD. It was raised over the tooth relic of Buddha. All the excavations are sheltered at the museum of the Nagarjunakonda island.
The site of Nagarjunakonda is the most important center of Buddhism in South India. Nagarjunakonda tour also features the visit to Nagarjunasagar Dam, the tallest and the largest masonry dam in the world. Stretching on the mighty River Krishna, the dam has also created one of the world’s largest man-make lakes.
Tourist Attractions of Nagarjunakonda Tour
The cascading waterfalls at Ethipothala depict the scenic beauty closely located to Nagarjunakonda tour. The falls also strategically make a marshy lagoon where crocodile breeding centre is maintained. It is a pleasant tourist attraction near the Buddhist site.
The museum features the stone frescoes depicting the life of Buddha and statues of Buddha in various postures. The inscribed pillars from Ikshvaku times showing Buddhist monasteries and statues also illustrate the rich heritage of Nagarjunakonda museum.
The dam irrigates 10 lakh acres of land and is one of the largest man-made dams in the world. Nagarjunasagar Island is based in the middle of the dam.
Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary:
Situated between Nagarjunakonda and Srisailam, Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is a thriving center for many types of playful animals, the dreadful tigers and some of the exotic birds.
Excursions of Nagarjunakonda Tour
Located 4 km away from Nagarjunasagar Dam, Anupa is a repository built on the heritage site where the excavated items from the Nagarjunakonda are kept preserved safely. Presently, the site hosts a mandap, stupa, Buddha padas, gold casket containing relics and other materials.
Located at an altitude of 1500 m, this is famous as the site for wildlife sanctuaryand the tiger reserve. Also here, a visitor can also visit the temples dedicated to Mallikarjuna Swamy, Brahmaramba, Uma Maheshwara and Saraswati.
How to reach there :
Nearest is the Hyderabad Airport.
Macherla is the nearest railhead, 20 km from Nagarjuna Sagar.
Nagarjuna Sagar is located at 150 km from Hyderabad, well connected by Road.