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 of Mahayana Buddhism.
Discovered in 1926, the remains of the Buddhist settlements and university are preserved in the museum on Nagarjuna Konda. The site was once the location of many Buddhist universities and monasteries, attracting students from as far as China, Gandhara, Bengal and Sri Lanka. Some of the Buddhist archaeological sites were submerged after the construction of Nagarjunasagar Sam. Few of them were excavated later and transferred to higher land on the hill which is the main tourist site. There are several ancient structures still remain scattered on the island.
Constructed in the shape of a Buddhist Vihara, the museum houses a stupendous collection of relics of Buddhist art and culture. It houses the Buddhist, Paleolithic and Neolithic artifacts, ruins and relics that were found in the archeological finding. The most unique part of the museum is that a partly ruined monolithic statue of Buddha.
This place can be reached by a boat ride from Boat Launch Station operated by AP Tourism from Vijayapuri South.
Boat Timings: 9.30 AM, 11.30 AM & 1.30 PM
Museum Timings: 9 AM to 4 PM. Closed on Fridays and national holidays.
Boat Fee: Rs. 150 for Adults & Rs. 120 for Children
Museum Entry: Rs. 20 for Adults & Rs. 10 for Children