Nagarjunakonda, India - Travel Guide
The Lifeline of Andhra Pradesh
This sedate town of Nagarjunakonda, more renowned as Nagarjunasagar, is situated at a distance of around 160 Km from the capital city, Hyderabad. The town nestling amidst picturesque natural surroundings that make a visit to Nagarjunasagar a real treat. It was called Vijayapuri (City of Victory) in bygone era. The town became famous after the tallest masonry dam in the world Nagarjunasagar Dam was built here. Most of the tourist who come here is to get a good look of this magnificent engineering marvel. With the dam, came into being one of the largest man made lake in the world. There were many villages in the area where the lake is now. They were all relocated to nearby areas. If the dam was not built, probably we would have visited Nagarjunasagar for some wonderful Buddhist sites. One of the largest Buddhist settlement in south India was excavated in Nagarjunasagar. Some of the many images and arts found there were reinstalled in a museum on an island situated in the middle of the lake. This show that Nagarjunasagar was once an important Buddhist center.
Attractions - Nature At Its Best
The main attraction of Nagarjunasagar without a doubt is the dominating Nagarjunasagar Dam. It has made the town one of the most important destinations in Andhra Pradesh, both in development and tourism. Rest attractions like Srisailam Wildlife Reserve and Ethipothala Waterfall too are wonderful spots to enjoy your vacations.
Nagarjunasagar is famous today largely because of Nagarjunasagar Dam. It is the tallest masonry dam in the world. Standing at a height of 124 m, it holds 11,472 million cubic meters of water. The structure is so huge and grand that you will not be able to take off your eyes once you get a glimpse of it. It was one of the earliest irrigation projects started in India and is truly an engineering wonder. The foundation stone for the Dam was laid in the year 1955. Nagarjunasagar Dam runs across River Krishna, it provides water for irrigation to all the nearby areas. By the construction of this Dam, another marvel was created in the form of one of the largest man made lake in the world. Many nearby areas were submerged in the water that were of historical importance. Numerous Buddhist sites were found in the area. Around 30 monasteries, Buddhist art works and monuments were excavated here. Some of them were shifted to Nagarjuna Hill that is now situated in the middles of the lake and some of them were taken to the mainland.
Srisailam Wildlife Reserve
Lying in the catchment area of River Krishna and covering an area of 3568 sq Km, Srisailam Wildlife Reserve is the largest tiger reserve in India and is the largest wildlife habitation in the country. The sanctuary spreads into five districts Nalgonda, Guntur, Prakasam, Kurnool, and Mahaboobnagar. The wildlife park was recognized as a tiger reserve in the year 1983 and was renamed as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. The main attractions of the sanctuary are tigers, leopard, black buck, sambar, python, chinkara and many more. The best time to visit Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary is between March and July, just before the monsoon starts. There are few rest houses on the outskirts of the park where you can stay. Macherla is just 25 Km from the here which makes the park easily accessible.
Ethipothala Waterfalls is among the rising tourist attractions in Andhra Pradesh. Apart form the locales, it was not very famous among outside people till recently. But now it is frequently visited by foreigners. Nestling amid lush green surroundings, Ethipothala Waterfall is situated around 11 Km from Nagarjunasagar. The 70 feet waterfall cascading from Chandravanka hills is close to many Buddhist sites which attracts more people to this region. The stream of water joins a lagoon nearby. This site is used for breeding of crocodiles and you can easily site a crocodile just lying on the banks. Ethipothala Waterfall is also a great place for mild trekking and camping along with refreshing nature sightseeing.
Accommodation in Nagarjunasagar
Nagarjunasagar is not a very big city, so don't expect any utterly luxurious hotels in the city. Though the city is filled with budget and above average hotels. These hotels might not provide you with world class facilities but they cater to all your basic needs and are more than enough for long stay. The are guest houses as well as youth hotels to stay in Nagarjunasagar. The better hotels of the lot are Vijay Vihar, Furnished Cottage, Sagar Vihar and Punnami Hill Colony.
How To Reach Nagarjunasagar
Nearest Airport to Nagarjunasagar is at Hyderabad which is at a distance of around 160 Km. Hyderabad is among the most well connected airport in India. It is catered by flights from all over India and by all major flight operators like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Deccan. The airport is also accessible from foreign countries as it has an international airport as well. The airport is well connected to the Intercity bus terminal from where you can take an APSRTC bus to Nagarjunasagar. It will take little more than 4 hrs to cover the distance.
Macherla is the nearest station that is situated at a distance of around 24 Km from here. Nagarjunasagar can be reached from Marchela by taking a bus. The bus service of both government buses and private operators between the two destination is impressive. You can also hire a taxi from the station itself.
Nagarjunasagar is nicely connected to all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh. You can catch an APSRTC bus or a tourist bus that run frequently between Nagarjunasagar and cities like Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Guntur.
Buses and auto rickshaws are the major mode of transportation in Nagarjunasagar. To move around in the city, hiring a taxi is the most convenient way.