Nagarjuna Sagar, located at a distance of 150 km from Hyderabad, is one of the most prominent Buddhist centers and attractive tourist spots in Andhra Pradesh.Known in ancient days as Vijayapuri, Nagarjunasagar takes its present name from Nagarjuna, one of the most revered Buddhist monks, who governed the sangha for nearly 60 years around the turn of the 2nd century AD. It is also a place of immense archaeological significance & excavations which reveal Nagarjunasagar as a center for the propagation of Buddhist teachings in South India.
One of the tallest masonry dams of the World, the Nagarjunasagar Dam in Hyderabad supplies water and irrigates over 10 lakh acres of land in Guntur, Prakasam, Nalgonda, Khammam and Krishna districts. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is located on the borders of Guntur and Nalgonda districts. The edifice of this dam was completed in the year 1966. This mighty dam reaches to a staggering height of 124 meters and is 1 kilometer long. It is built across the Krishna River and has one of the largest networks of canal systems.
It is one of the earliest irrigation and hydro-electric projects in India. The dam provides irrigation water to the Nalgonda District, Prakasam District, Khammam District, and Guntur District.The proposal to construct a dam to use the excess waters of the Krishna river was put forward by the British rulers in 1903. Siddeswaram and Pulichintala were identified as the suitable locations for the reservoirs.The dam water was released by the then Prime Minister’s daughter, Indira Gandhi in 1967. The construction of the dam submerged an ancient Buddhist settlement, Nagarjunakonda, which was the capital of the Ikshvaku dynasty in the 1st and 2nd centuries, the successors of the Satavahanas in the Eastern Deccan. Excavations here had yielded 30 Buddhist monasteries, as well as art works and inscriptions of great historical importance. In advance of the reservoir’s flooding, monuments were dug up and relocated. Some were moved to Nagarjuna’s Hill, now an island in the middle of the reservoir. Others were moved to the mainland.
The project benefited farmers in the districts of Guntur, Prakasam, Krishna, Nalgonda and khammam. The right canal (a.k.a Jawahar canal) is 203 km long and irrigates 1.113 million acres (4,500 km2) of land. The left canal (a.k.a Lalbahadur Shastri canal) is 295 km long and irrigates 0.32 million acres (800 km2) of land in nalgonda and khammam districts of telangana region. The project transformed the economy of above districts. 52 villages were submersed in water and 24000 people were affected. The relocation of the people was completed by 2007.The hydroelectric plant has a power generation capacity of 815.6 MW with 8 units (1×110 MW+7×100.8 MW). First unit was commissioned on 7 March 1978 and 8th unit on 24 December 1985. The right canal plant has a power generation capacity of 90 MW with 3 units of 30 MW each. The left canal plant has a power generation capacity of 60 MW with 2 units of 30 MW each.
4 kms away from the dam is the Viewpoint, which affords the viewer a spectacular and panoramic vision of the amazing landscape. The other attractions around the Dam include the Ethipothala waterfalls, the densely forested Srisailam Wildlife Reserve and an exquisite museum, located near the dam that is reachable by boat.
Rail: Closest Railway station is Bhadrachalam about 25km away from Kinnerasani.