If you want to see the vast expanse of water, an engineering marvel in the form of a dam, a prominent treasure-house for Buddhist sculptures and much more, this is the place to be!!!
Nagarjunasagar – the third largest man-made lake in the world. The Nagarjunasagar dam, built over River Krishna, is also supposed to be the largest and tallest masonary dam in the world. The place is about 150 kms from Hyderabad and is named after Nagarjuna, a revered Buddhist monk.
We visited the place sometime in October ’09 to celebrate a friend’s birthday We had fun during the entire drive with lots of jokes cracked, munching on the stock of snacks that we had carried and catching up with where we had left last time, that was just last weekend when we had been for another getaway to the Osmansagar lake on the outskirts. Gud food, wonderful company, pleasant drive and an unbelievably beautiful place as the destination, what more could anyone ask for?
We reached Nagarjunasagar and took a boat to the Nagarjunakonda, an island in the midst of the lake, where the relics of Buddhist civilisation have been reconstructed and preserved. The main attraction is the monolithic statue of Lord Buddha. This place is really worth visiting and with the vast collection that it has, it takes one back into that era completely.
The boat ride is in itself a glorious one with nature’s bounty pouring upon you at every step.
After a visit to the museum, we spent some time just playing in the crystal clear water, sitting in the balcony of the Punnami Guest House [APTDC resorts] and gazing at the lake which looked all-pervading and still trying to believe there can be a place as magnificent as what we had seen. It was absolute bliss to be seated in silence and trying to absorb the breath-taking beauty all around. It was time to get back into boat which had just arrived with a new bunch of people to get back to the other side. We could not believe we had spent 2 hours or more here. You can also see lush-green gardens all around with a variety of flowers and cacti.
You may also want to visit Anupa, where the Buddhist University and Stadium, which were excavated at Nagarjunasagar, have been reconstructed. The stadium boasts of the most amazing acoustics that are truly remarkable considering the time and age when it was built. We did not visit the place due to lack of time.
If u r lucky, u can also be awarded with the dam gates open and can a glimpse of the water flowing down. After getting back to the main gate, we enjoyed a few rounds of coracle ride in the lake. We were all back to our childhood times, screaming at the top of our voices, looking up at the sky and falling over when he turned the coracle around at high speed. How thrilling! The expressions on the faces of our friends, who were experiencing it for the first time were priceless.
On the way back, we visited the Ethipothala waterfalls which is a marvel in itself. Situated about 11 kms away from Nagarjunasagar, this place is a must-visit. Absolutely serene , the tranquil surroundings and the sight of the water cascading down into a lagoon, take it from me, you have to convince yourself a lot to come back into the hustle-bustle of the city. Especially, in the evening, the musical fountain and the dazzling colourful lights add to the beauty. Another place worth visiting while here is the Crocodile Breeding Centre. Do take a peek into the interesting habits of these amphibians in these safe, scenic surroundings.
A rare combo of ancient art and architecture and modernity is what you are looking for, head to this place! Picture Postcard Perfect!!!
P.S: There are no pics depicting the art and relics I am talking abt so much in the post. Obviously, photography is prohibited inside the building 🙂 Nevertheless, they are really worth watching.