Nagarjuna Sagar


Lake & Backwaters | Nature & Scenic

Photo Credit: Flickr

Ideal Trip Duration: Full Day

Base Station: Nagarjuna Sagar

Nearest City to Nagarjuna Sagar: Hyderabad (166 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Nagarjuna Sagar: September to January

Peak Season: September to October

State: Telangana | District: Nalgonda

Nagarjuna Sagar Weather: Summer: Maximum - 41°C & Minimum - 22°C
Winter: Maximum - 30°C & Minimum - 15°C

At a distance of 166 km from Hyderabad, 83 km from Nalgonda, 149 km from Guntur, 551 km from Vizag & 190 km from Vijayawada, Nagarjuna Sagar (or Nagarjuna Sagar), located in Nalgonda district of Telangana, is one of the most prominent Buddhist centers in India and also one of the top Tourist places in Telangana. Nagarjuna Sagar is one of the most popular tourist places to visit near Hyderabad and one of the best weekend getaways from Hyderabad city. It is also well known for Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, one of the largest dams in India.

Known in ancient days as Vijayapuri, meaning 'The city of victory', Nagarjuna Sagar takes its present name from Nagarjuna, one of the most revered Buddhist monks lived in 2nd century AD. It is also a place of immense archaeological significance & excavations revealed this place as a center for the propagation of Buddhist teachings in South India during 3rd century AD. It was ruled by the Sathavahanas and subsequently by the Ikshvaku rulers during ancient times.

One of the early river valley civilizations took birth here. Enthused by the peaceful environs of this place, Buddhists made this land a great hub of learning, setting up one of the four major Viharas here. Further down in history, one of the first Hindu kingdoms of South India, Ikshvakus made this city their capital. Today known as Nagarjuna Sagar, this holy land now boasts one of the world's tallest dams.

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Nagarjuna Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarjuna Konda Museum, Ethipothala Waterfall are the famous attractions of this place. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, built on River Krishna between the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was completed in 1966. It has a height of 124 m and a length of over 1450 m with 26 crest gates. The lake created by the dam is the third largest manmade lake in the world. There is a viewpoint at a distance of 4 km from the dam that offers a panoramic view of the amazing landscape. The dam serves the irrigation needs of the region and is also a source of hydro-electricity. Nagarjuna Konda, where the ancient Buddhist excavations are found is in middle of the waters of Nagarjuna Sagar and can be reached by a boat. Steam boat rides are available to the dam where the turbines can be seen in action.

Nagarjuna Sagar has some medium to budget accommodation options available. Telangana Tourism operates a wonderful cottage on the banks of Sagar Lake, called Vijaya Vihar.

Hyderabad airport is the nearest airport, about 153 km away. The nearest railway stations are at Macherla (23 km) and Nalgonda (83 km). Macherla has trains from Guntur, Nadikudi, Vijayawada and Bhimavaram while Nalgonda lies on Secunderabad-Guntur line and connected with Chennai, Vizag, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Kochi, Coimbatore, etc. Regular buses connect Nagarjuna Sagar with cities like Hyderabad, Warangal, Guntur and Vijayawada.

The best season to visit Nagarjuna Sagar is from September to January while the Peak Season is from September to December. It usually takes one full day to visit all places in Nagarjuna Sagar.

Internet Availability: Average
STD Code: 08680
Languages Spoken: Telugu, English, Hindi
Major Festivals: Lumbini Festival (Dec)
Best time to visit Nagarjuna sagar is when the dam gates are open during peak monsoon season. The time varies, but usally occurs in the month of Sep/Oct. Staying in Haritha Vijay Vihar Resort is a pleasant experience.

Start the trip early in the morning from Hyderabad in order to come back by same night.


By Air

Nearest Airport: Hyderabad - Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (153 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Macherla Railway Station (23 Kms)
Nalgonda Railway Station (83 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Nagarjuna Sagar Bus Station (0 Kms)


Lake & Backwaters | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 3 km from Nagarjuna Sagar Bus Station, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is built on River Krishna between the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the main places to visit in Nagarjuna Sagar. The dam offers breathtaking views when the gates are open in peak monsoon season (around Sep).

The Dam was completed in 1966 and it has a height of 124 m and a length of over 1450 m with 26 crest gates. The lake created by the dam is the third largest manmade lake in the world. The dam can store up to 11, 472 million cubic meters of water in the reservoir. There is a viewpoint at a distance of 4 km from the dam that offers a panoramic view of the amazing landscape. It is one of the earliest irrigation and hydro-electric projects in India. The dam provides irrigation water to over 1 million acres of land in Nalgonda, Prakasam, Khammam and Guntur Districts.

The project commenced .....


At a distance of 14 km from Nagarjuna Sagar, 176 km from Hyderabad & 177 km from Vijayawada, Ethipothala waterfalls are striking falls on River Chandravanka (a tributary of River Krishna), towards the down flow of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. This is one of the best tourist attractions to visit near Hyderabad & a popular waterfall around Hyderabad city. It is one of the prime places to visit in Nagarjuna Sagar and also one of the top Tourist places in Telangana.

Ethipothala is a famous waterfall formed by the mountain streams which falls from a height of approximately 70 feet into a lagoon. Three streams namely Nakka Vagu, Tummala Vagu and Chandravanka Vagu combine to form this waterfall. The name Ethipothala has been derived from the Sanskrit word 'Etitaposthal' meaning the place for penance. It is believed that saints have performed rigorous penance at this place. The caves nearby also attest .....

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 17 km from Nagarjuna Sagar Bus Station & 8 km from Boat Launch Station, Anupu is a site of Buddhist excavations reconstructed to perfection with extreme care and great effort. During the construction of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, the ruins of an ancient Buddhist university were excavated along with several monasteries. These ruins are collected and few structures are reconstructed at 80 hectare Anupu by Archeological Survey of India. It is one of the best Nagarjuna Sagar tourist places.

There are three main structures at Anupu - Ancient University, Amphi Theater and Harati Temple. The reconstructed stupas at University have circular brick or rubble walls, which have cladding of limestone slabs or plaster. The Simhala Vihara has two halls, one encircling a Buddha image. The Chaitya Halls and monasteries had limestone column set in to brick and stone walls.

The Amphi Theatre is a magnificent structure with stepped columns on both sides and a big play ground in .....

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 23 km from Nagarjuna Sagar Bus Station & 14 km from Boat Launch Station, Nagarjuna Konda is a small island in Nagarjuna Sagar Lake which houses the excavated remains of the Buddhist civilization of 2nd century. This is one of the major historical sites to visit around Hyderabad and among the top Nagarjuna Sagar places to visit.

It is one of India's richest Buddhist sites and now it lies in the backwaters of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. Nagarjuna Konda was once the capital of Ikshvaku Kingdom and was called Vijayapuri. It was named after Acharya Nagarjuna, a renowned Buddhist scholar, philosopher who lived here in the 2nd century AD and composed the initial sutras of Mahayana Buddhism. The revered Buddhist monk was heading the community of Buddhist priests for nearly 60 years in the 2nd century. He found the Madhyamika School which studied and developed the teaching .....


At a distance of 55 Kms from Nagarjuna Sagar (on SH1 after Macherla), Laxmi Chennakesava Swamy Temple is a famous 13th century temple dedicate to Sri Venkateswaram (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) located in Karampudi village of Guntur district.

This historical temple was built by king Brahmanayudu of Palnadu. The main gopuram is 60 feet tall with several carvings.

Weapons used during the Palnadu war are carefully preserved here. An annual festival to commemorate the memories of the heroes of that war attracts visitors from all over the region.


At a distance of 60 km Nagajuna Sagar, 30 Kms from Srisailam and 173 km from Hyderabad, the Nagarjuna Sagar - Srisailam Sanctuary (or Srisailam Sanctuary) is the largest tiger reserve in the country, spread across 3568 Sq. Kms. It is spread between Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir & Srisailam reservoir. It was declared a sanctuary in 1973 and was incorporated under Project Tiger a decade later.

Animals that can be found here are the panthers, tigers, spotted deer, mouse deer, black buck, sambars, chousingha nilgai, tree straw, mugger crocodile, and wolfs, sloth beer & wild dogs. Mannanur (104 Kms from Mahbubnagar towards Srisailam), Kandla Kunta (30 Kms from Macherla & 60 Kms from Sagar towards Srisailam), Vatwarla Palle (30 Kms from Srisailm towards Mahbubnagar) are different gateways into the sanctuary.

The Forest department organized a Jeep Safari in the forest (to Farahabad Viewpoint) from the entry point on Hyderabad to .....

Distance (From Nagarjuna Sagar): 60 Kms
Trip Duration (From Nagarjuna Sagar - Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 40 Kms from Vijayawada, 33 Kms from Guntur, 105 Kms from Nagarjuna Sagar & 253 Kms from Hyderabad, Amaravati, on the banks of River Krishna, is the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center.

It is best known for the Great Stupa or Maha Chaitya, believed to have been 32m height and 32m diameter, larger than the one at Sanchi (Bhopal). The origins of the stupa go back to the 2nd / 3rd century BC, the reign of Ashoka. The Stupa is partly reconstructed on the same site. The excavations by Colin Mackenzie in 1797 recovered the magnificent railings and sculptured friezes.

Amaravathi is also known for the Amaralingeswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built in 10th/11th century by eastern Chalukyas.

The Archaeological Museum includes collections from Buddhist sites belong to 3rd century BC to 12th century. It contains panels, chakras and caskets containing relics, broken railings and sculptures etc, arranged in different galleries. Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM. Friday .....

Distance (From Nagarjuna Sagar): 104 Kms
Trip Duration (From Nagarjuna Sagar - Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day

Lake & Backwaters | Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 160 km from Nandyal, 181 km from Kurnool, 229 km from Hyderabad, 263 km from Vijayawada and 527 km from Bangalore, Srisailam is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva situated on the banks of River Krishna in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of Lord Shiva in India and also one of the top Places to visit in Andhra. Srisailam is also one of the most popular weekend getaways from Hyderabad.

Srisailam is famous for Srisailam Dam & Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sanctum enshrines Lord Mallikarjuna in the form of a linga protected by a three-hooded cobra. This ancient temple built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards is one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagara architecture. Though the exact origins .....

Distance (From Nagarjuna Sagar): 120 Kms
Trip Duration (From Nagarjuna Sagar - Including Travel): 1-2 Days

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