The ancient remains at this site, 150 kms southeast of Hyderabad, were discovered in 1926 by archaelogist AR Saraswati. Two major excavations were carried out before 1953, when it became known that the area would be flooded by Nagarjuna Sagar, the reservoir to be created by a massive hydroelectric project in 1960. A major six year excavation was undertaken to unearth the areas many Buddhist ruins, stupas, viharas (monastery complexs), chaityas (temples) and mandapams(pillared pavilions), as well as some outstanding examples of white marble depictions of the Buddhas life. The find were reassembled on Nagarjuna Konda, an island in the middle of the dam.
Nagarjunakonda was one the largest and most important Buddhist centres in South India from the second centuary BC until the third centuary AD. It was named after Acharya Nagarjuna, a renowned Buddhist scholar and philosopher, who had migrated here from Amaravati to propagate and spread the Buddha’s message of universal peach and brotherhood. The founder of Mahayana Buddhism, 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.
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Nagarjunakonda may be named after Nagarjuna, the revered Buddhist monk who governed, the sangha (community of Buddhist priests) for nearly 60 years in the 2nd centuary AD. He found the Madhyamika school which studied and developed the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism.
NAGARJUNASAGAR DAM A feeling of awe and insignificance overcomes you when you lay eyes upon the Nagarjunasagar Dam for the first time. Its sheer size and magnitude leaves you breathless and astounded. As the tallest and largest masonry dam in the world, it truly stands as one of the wonders of engineering excellence.
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-make lake.
Significantly, the creation of this lake has submerged the excavations that were carried out here in 1926 which unearthed three historical sites Dhanyakataka, capital of the Satavahanas, Sriparvata Vijayapuri, capital of the Satavahanas; Sriparvata Vijayapuri, capital of the Ikshvakus and a Buddhist civilization that thrived here in the third and fourth centuries B C. What is of special interest to historians is the fact that the excavations also revealed the existence of Brahmanical temples here which indicate that Hinduism and Buddhism fourished together in peaceful co-existence.
All the archeological findings and relics have been removed from here and Carefully preserved on an island in the middle of the lake Nagarjunakonda.
The seven hoods serpant is called NAGA MACHILINDA .He Protects the Lord Buddha when he is in Meditation. This Serpant carved in 4 Century AD by Ishwaku Kings.
Location : The site is located in Guntur District, at a distance of 150 km from Hyderabad, the state capital. The Guntur District is located between Latitude: 16º18'North and Longitude: 80º27'East
Attractions Ethipothala Water falls : The waterfalls are natural and the scenic beauty of the place is mesmerizing, the Chandravanka river flows down straight from a height of 70 ft, with hammering sounds and swift speed, and thrashes on to a lagoon which, serves as a crocodile breeding centre. So, you get another attraction for the time and price of one. The flow rushes in to a deep green forest.
Ethipothala is a popular picnic spot, not only for the reptiles, but also for the tourist folk.