One of the largest and most well maintained dams, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is around 150 km from Hyderabad. Co-ordinated by both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Government, this dam took around 12 years to be constructed. The foundation stone of this masonry dam was laid by Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru. Flanked by Guntur district from Andhra Pradesh and Nalgonda district from Telangana, the dam is most visited after monsoons when the flood gates are usually open.
Nagarjunakonda is situated as an island in the middle of the reservior which can be easily reached via ferry boats. Ferry boats are operated by both APDTC and TSTDC and are quite frequent in service. The island has a small museum which treasures the relics of the excavated monasteries. Nagarjunakonda is deemed to be the glorious capital of Ikshvaku dynasty. Though there is canteen on island, it is advisable to buy water bottle and carry it with yourself. Its around 2 km walk from the ferry jetty to the museum.
Ethipothala Waterfalls is around 15 km drive from the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. We have to cross RTA check post where a nominal charge of 50 Rs is taken to cross over to Andhra Pradesh border. The undulated roads is a delight for eyes as we can enjoy the green valley which is also part of Forest reserve.
Ethipothala Waterfalls justifies its name which translates into the “The place of penance”. The Chandravanka river takes a 70 feet plunge as a milk-white foamy beautiful waterfall. A trek down the waterfall gorge is optional. The road is rocky and on the way down, you can visit the Datta Durga Temple. The gorge area is supposed to be infested with crocodiles. However though on my repeated visits, I have never really come across one! Nevertheless, one should be cautious as the area is covered with mid-sized bushes and monkeys are quite nuisance for the visitors. Also, caution should be exercised as the gorge area is steep and it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes for the trek. It is better not to take children below 10 years or elderly people to visit down the gorge area.
Buddhavanam is the latest addition to the tourist spot near Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. Located barely 7-8 Km from the dam, this is a beautiful monastery honouring the flourishing Buddhism in the Nagarjunakonda belt around 6th century BC. The white stupa has a meditation hall. The project has been segregated into eight thematic segments which will collectively be part of the main project Buddhavanam. The segments are namely Buddhacharitavanam, Jatakavanam (Bodhisattva Park), Dhyanavanam (Meditation Park), Stupavanam, Mahastupa. Apart from this, there is Buddhist Education Centre as well as proposed Hospitality units and Wellness Centre.
All you need to know about Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
How to reach :
Nearest Airport -Hyderabad International Airport is the nearest airport from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
Nearest Railway Station – Nagarjuna Sagar railway station
You can hire out-station cab or Zoom car to drive over to the dam.
Where to stay:
Vijay Vihar overlooks the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. Apart from it you can also stay at Ethipothala Haritha Hotel which overlooks the Ethipothala Waterfalls. It is bit off the road and right over the main viewpoint for the waterfall. It is also comparatively cheaper compared to Vijay Vihar mainly its because of the location.