Nagarjunakonda is very famous for Buddism during 2nd to 4th century A.D and also known as rich archaeological relics. It situated 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:
The name Nagarjunakonda is of medieval origin and often conterminous with the fort perched on the hill. In ancient times, as the inscriptions of the 3rd and 4th centuries, the valley as 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 real found 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, made the discovery of this remarkable site. The excavations started the next year and continued until February 1931. During the excavations, the archaeologists discovered a number of Buddhist monasteries and other monuments, besides numerous limestone sculptures.
Nagarjunakonda has yielded the earliest remains of Brahmanical temples. The Brahmanical architecture can now easily visualize the pattern of architectural development of temples during the early 1 century AD. Later in years Brahmanical tradition of the valley brings similarities to Buddhist architecture. In this valley, several trends from different directions converged to rises new architectural forms. The architectural tradition had the reflection of two broad divisions of the Buddhist faith. One adhering to the orthodox principles and the other drifting more and more towards the Mahayanic 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 hill, still retain a height of 6 meters, with an average width of 5.33 meters. With bastions at regular intervals and six gateways,
The area also known for panoramic views of the valley from a viewing area near the dam and the site of natural waterfalls. Which cascade down 22 meters into a blue lagoon that also a breeding center for crocodiles. Srisailam wildlife sanctuary located very near to Nagarjunakonda, where we can see many varieties of reptiles, birds and animals. Srisailam also a destination for pilgrimage and religious significance which situated on the shore of river Krishna in the Nallamalai Hills.
How to reach:
By Air: Nearest airport is Hyderabad, well-connected with all the major cities of India.
By Rail: Macherla, the nearest air head, which is 20 km from Nagarjunakonda.
By Road: Well connected Roads to Hyderabad at a distance of 160 km.