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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nagarjuna Konda & Nagarjuna Sagar

A two and a half hour of pleasure drive from the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, takes us to the township of Vijayapuri. (about 150 KM from Hyderabad) It was the erstwhile Ikshvaku Kingdom, over seventeen hundred years ago.Nagarjuna Sagar, stretching across the mighty river Krishna, the barrage also has another distinction to its credit, it has created one of the world's largest man-made lake. The reservoir is a vital source of irrigation for vast tracts of the surrounding region.
Nagarjuna Sagar

Night View of Nagarjuna Sagar

Nagarjuna Sagar
Water Falls (ethipothalu) is about 12 kms from the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.

ethipothalu / water falls
Nagarjunakonda was one of the largest and most important Buddist centres in South India from the Second Century B.C until the third century A.D. It was named after Acharya Nagarjuna, a renowned Buddist scholar and philosopher, who had migrated here from Amaravathi to propogate and spread the Budda’s message fo universal peace and brotherhood. The founder of Mahayana Buddism, this revered monk governed the sangha for almost 60 years and the Madhyamika school he established attracted students from far and wide including Sri Lanka and China.
At the site, excavations have unearthed a university, monastries, Aswamedha altar, royal baths, advanced drainage system, viharas, chaityas, mandapas as well as white marble carvings and sculptures depicting the life and times of the Budda. Of special significance is the finding  of nine stupa like structures arranged in a wheel shaped fornation which includes the Mahachaitya, the most sacred of them all. The Brahmi characters inscribed on it reveal that the remains of Lord Budda are preserved within it.

With the construction of the Nagarjuna sagar dam and the subsequent flooding of this site by the rising waters, all the priceless finds have been shifted to an island in the middle of the lake. The ruins were transported and reconstructed, at the unique island museum, in the form of an ancient Buddist Vihar. So that visitors can get a glimpses of a great chapter in Indian History and see for themselves a rich culture that has successfully survived through the centuries. Along with these, the museum also houses invaluable relics such as stone tools and weapons from the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages, which were found at the same site.

Lord Budda-Nagarjunakonda

Lord Budda-Nagarjunakonda

Nagarjunakonda Museum

Nagarjuna Sagar

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