Nagarjuna Sagar


Located at a distance of 150 kms from Hyderabad, Nagarjunasagar is an important irrigation dam on river Krishna. This is the tallest and biggest masonry dam in the world and is about 150 Km away from the metropolitan city of Hyderabad. It creates the third largest man-made lake in the world. Apart from this, some remains of the Buddhist civilization dating back to the 3rd century A.D, are seen on an island called Nagarjunakonda located in a man-made lake on the other side of the river Krishna. These relics of Buddhist civlization found during excavation unveiled the traces of Mahachaitya, the most sacred of the stupas. An inscription in Brahmi characters states that the sacred relics of Lord Buddha lie within the Mahachaitya.

Similar excavations of the surroundings have brought to light the remains of a university, vihara and monasteries. This University was flourished under Acharya Nagarjuna, the great Buddhist saint, scholar and philosopher who migrated to Nagarjunakonda from Amaravati to spread the message of the Buddha. An "Ashwamedha" sacrifice, altar of tools from Paleolithic and Neolithic times were also found here. The remains of a Buddhist University were found during an excavation while constructing the Nagarjuna Sagar dam.

  

 
Interestingly excavations conducted here have also revealed Brahmanical temples, which reveal the friendship that existed here centuries ago between the two faiths. Now though the actual site of the excavations have been flooded with the waters of the mighty river, the relics of the ruins have been reconstructed and kept in an island museum, the largest of its kind in the world and are in an excellent state of preservation-thanks to the efforts of the Archaelogical Survey of India. Today Nagarjunakonda along with Nagarjunasagar attracts many tourists from South East Asian Countries and also from all over India.

Foundation stone of the Dam was laid by the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India on 10-12-1955. While laying the foundation stone, Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru had inspired the nation by his glorious speech legitting the sacred occasion as under

                              "When I lay the foundation stone here of this Nagarjunasagar, to me it is a sacred ceremony".

                              "This is the foundation of the temple of humanity of India, i.e. symbol of the new temples that we are building all over India".

 

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