Nagarjunakonda is famous for Buddism from the 2nd to 4th century AD and is also known as a rich archaeological relic. It is in Macherla Mandalam, Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, India. The place is about 160 km to the southeast of Hyderabad. The ruins of structures of ancient Nagarjunakonda represented the salvaged monuments reconstructed in areas above the submergence level.
Origin of the name Nagarjunakonda:
Nagarjunakonda is of medieval origin and is often conterminous with the fort perched on the hill. In ancient times, as the inscriptions of the 3rd and 4th centuries, the valley was Vijayapuri. The hypothetical association of Nagarjuna, the celebrated Buddhist philosopher of the 2nd century AD., The name Vijayapuri is possibly after Vijaya Satakarni, the Satavahana ruler, who may have been the actual founding of the township.
The rich archaeological wealth of the valley spread over a vast area remained unknown until March 1926, when AR Saraswati, Epigraphist, ASI, discovered this excellent site. The excavations started the next year and continued until February 1931. The archaeologists discovered several Buddhist monasteries and other monuments besides numerous limestone sculptures during the holes.
Nagarjunakonda has yielded the earliest remains of Brahmanical temples. Brahmanical architecture can now easily visualize temples’ architectural development pattern during the early one century AD. Later in the years, the Brahmanical tradition of the valley brings similarities to Buddhist architecture. In this valley, several trends from different directions converged to rise to new architectural forms. The architectural practice reflected two broad divisions of the Buddhist faith. One is adhering to the orthodox principles, and the other is drifting more towards the Mahayana ideals.
The Ruins and Beauties of Nagarjunakonda:
The ruins of the hill fort of Nagarjunakonda, mentioned in several Vijayanagara inscriptions, embrace the entire length and breadth of the hill. The walls around these places are along the edges of the mountain, still retaining a height of 6 meters, with an average width of 5.33 meters. With bastions at regular intervals and six gateways,
The area is also known for panoramic views of the valley from a viewing area near the dam and the site of natural waterfalls. Which cascades down 22 meters into a blue lagoon crocodile breeding centre—Srisailam wildlife sanctuaries locis located nearrjunakonda, where we can see flies, birds and animals. Srisailam is also a destination for pilgrimage and religious significance, situated on the shore of river Krishna in the Nallamalai Hills.
How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is Hyderabad, which is well-connected with all the major cities of India.
By Rail: Macherla, the nearest airhead, is 20 km from Nagarjunakonda.
By Road: Well-connected Roads to Hyderabad at a distance of 160 km.