Located on the river Krishna, Nagarjunakonda was the greatest centre of Buddhist learning, south of the Vindhyas, about 17 centuries ago. Earlier known as Vijayapuri, Nagarjunakonda was the venue of many a congregation of monks and scholars. The great Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna, is said to have founded the University here. 

Nagarjuna Konda was, once a splendid city with stupas, chaityas, monasteries, and marvellous sculpture adorning them. It had a large amphitheatre with perfect acoustics, an altar for the sacrifice of horses, royal baths, quays and bathing ghats along the river, and a well planned drainage system. With the passage of time and the eclipse of Buddhism in India, the city found its way to the abandoned lot, and had almost faded into oblivion. In the fifties, excavations were resumed with added urgency, for the ambitious Nagarjunasagar Hydro Electric Project, that was coming up on the River Krishna. As work started for the project, the ruins from the site, were relocated brick by brick, on the crest of a hill overlooking the river. With the completion of the project, Nagarjunakonda took on a new lease of life on the slopes of the Nagarjuna hill, now an island in the immense lake.

Upstream the Krishna river is Nagarjunakonda, associated with the famous Buddhist scholar of 2nd century, Nagarjuna. It was an important Buddhist monastic institution, and has stupas with handsome sculptures, depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. Indian archaeologists have salvaged the precious ruins from their ancient setting, lifting them atop a hill, and showcasing them in a museum, styled as a vihara.

Places To See 

Nagarjuna dam, which was completed in 1966, is 124 metres high and 1 km long, one of the largest masonry in the world. The lake, which it straddles, is the third largest manmade lake in the world. 4 kms away from the dam, is the Viewpoint, where a panoramic view of the amazing landscape, is simply a feast to the eyes. On a pylon not too far from the dam, is the image of Nagarjuna, the patron of the ancient city. Within easy reach of Nagarjunasagar, are the picturesque Ethipothala waterfalls, and the thick forest of the Srisailam Wildlife Reserve. This reserve is part of Project Tiger, and supports a variety of animals, birds and reptiles.  

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