Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nagarjuna Sagar Trip Plan

After our Srisailam Trip With Colleagues in the month of December 2007, we decided to kick the road again - now to Nagarjuna Sagar.

Acharya (Monk) Nagarjuna was the person who started Mahayana Buddhism and he preached it through India wandering. The Buddhists built a Monastery at Nagarjuna Konda where Nagarjuna taught.


Persons in the team who have confirmed are:

* Madhav
* Srinivas
* Ravi Kiran
* Ranjeeth
* Anil Kumar

Subhash, Nalini and new joinee, Sateesh opted out for this time.

We have already booked two rooms at Andhra Pradesh Tourism Guest House at Ethipothala.
Starting point would be at our flat at Lakdi-Ka-Pul in Hyderabad at 8AM on Saturday, 19th July 2008.

Route:
Lakdi-Ka-Pul -> Kothi -> Malakpet -> Santosh Nagar -> Nagarjuna Sagar Highway

About Nagarjunasagar:

Nagarjuna Sagar, an erstwhile prominent Buddhist center, is the most attractive tourist spot in Andhra Pradesh. Named after the Buddhist monk, Acharya Nagarjuna, it is today the major hydel power station in Andhra Pradesh.


It is the tallest masonry dam in the World, constructed on the river Krishna. Nagarjuna Sagar dam is located on the border of Guntur - Nalgonda districts. The dam was completed in 1966 and it is 124 meters high and 1 km long.

It is built across the river Krishna and has one of the largest networks of canal systems irrigating over 2,000,000 acres of land in Guntur, Prakasam, Nalgonda, Khammam and Krishna districts. 4 kms away from the dam, is the viewpoint, where a panoramic view of the amazing landscape, is simply a feast to the eyes. One can find the image of Nagarjuna, on a pylon not too far from the dam.

Places Around Nagarjuna Sagar:

There are many places of tourist interest near this place like Ethipothala waterfalls, and the thick forest of the Srisailam Wildlife Reserve. This reserve is part of Project Tiger, and supports a variety of animals, birds and reptiles.

A 20-minute ride by a motorboat across the river Krishna attracts tourists for its Buddhist relics and a fine museum. The dam is a spectacular sight and attracts a lot of tourists, during the floods in Krishna. Centuries ago, a city named Vijayapuri flourished in this area as a center of Buddhist studies.


The city later served as the capital of the Ikshvaku kindom, and, today, the town bears the name Nagarjunasagar, in tribute to Acharya Nagarjuna, the founder of Mahayana Buddhism. In this beautiful township are found the sacred remains of one of the most ancient civilizations in the world.

The Nagarjunasagar Dam is a symbol of modern India's architectural and technological triumphs. The construction of the dam resulted in the formation of the world's largest man-made lake and a captivating vista of India's natural beauty.

About Nagarjunakonda:

Remnants of a rich bygone era, unearthed from the excavations carried out by archaeologists at Nagarjunasagar, have been preserved in a museum on a beautiful island hill called Nagarjuna Konda. Situated in the middle of the man-made Nagarunasagar Lake, Nagarjunakonda is a unique island museum. Constructed in the shape of a vihara, or a monastery, the museum houses an impressive collection of Buddhist relics. The main stupa of Nagarjunakonda is purported to contain the sacred relics of Buddha himself.

Excavations:

Nagarjunakonda is one of the important tourist attractions of Andhra Pradesh, located about 150 kms. southeast of Hyderabad on the Krishna River. Nagarjunakonda was one of the largest and most important Buddhist centres in southern India from the 2nd century BC until 3rd century AD. and was earlier known
as Vijayapuri. It was the venue of many a congregation of monks and scholars. Nagarjuna the great Buddhist scholar is said to have founded the University here.

Excavations at Nagarjunakonda revealed the Mahachaitya, the most sacred of the stupas. An inscription in Bramhi characters states that the sacred relics of Lord Buddha lie within the Mahachaitya. The ruins of a university, vihara, monasteries and an ‘Aswamedha’ sacrificial alter from Paleolithic and Neolithic times were also discovered here.


Educative Site:

This site is one of the richest sources of Buddhist narrative sculpture discovered in India during the 12th century. Nagarjunakonda, as a result of extensive excavations, has revealed a large number of viharas and chaitya halls, through which the typical plans and constructional details of these structures can be well studied. It was discovered in 1925. The excavated remains are outstanding examples of white marble carvings and sculptures depicting the life of the Buddha.

Collections:

The great stupa at Nagarjunakonda belongs to the class of uncased stupas, its brickwork being plastered over and the stupa decorated by a large garland-ornament. The Ikshvaku Princess Chamtisiri in the third century renovated the original stupa. It houses excavated material from early stone ages to medieval period including beautiful stone sculptures, inscriptions, relic caskets, jewels etc, library. The prehistoric findings include the tools from Palaeolithic and Neolithic times. There are many artifacts on display like Stone Age picks, hoes, hammers and spears. Coins and coin moulds belonging to the local rulers like Satavahanas are also on display. There are fine and attractive sculptures of large voluptuous women and also of Jataka stories on long slabs. The museum at Nagarjunakonda has a model of the now submerged valley and the environs.

About Ethipothala Waterfalls:

Located 11 Kms. from the Nagarjunasagar is the picturesque Ethipothala waterfalls. The cascading waterfalls are formed by the water flowing down from Chandravanka Mountains from a height of about 70 feet and are a spectacle worth watching. They are a radiant sight of the power and beauty of nature. This is a famous picnic spot, set in a beautiful valley. Here the Chandravankas stream plunges into a lagoon. The rising place of the river Chandra Vanka is at Muthukuru, on the eastern part of the Nallamala hills. The river falls from a great height before it joins the Tumurukota reserve forest and this place called "Ethipothala water
falls" finally joins the Krishna river.


Ranganadha and Dattatreya temples are located near the waterfalls - We need to check this out at Ethipothala.
The meaning of Ethipothala is - Ethi (we call then Yathulu in Telugu) means Rishis and Thapothala means Place of Penance.

The the meaning of Ethipothala means Place where Rishis did penance.

About Anupu:


It is said that the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna taught in Anupu Located 8 Kms. away from the Nagarjunasagar dam, Anupu is a site of Buddhist excavations reconstructed to perfection with painstaking effort. Several brick structures such as Amphitheater, Maha Vihara, Asthabhuja Swamy Temple, Sarvadeva Temple and Hariti Temple were reconstructed. During the construction of the Nagarjunasagar dam, the ruins of an ancient Buddhist university were excavated. These have been reconstructed at Anupu.

Reconstruction and Formation:


The reconstructed stupas have circular brick or rubble walls, which have cladding of limestone slabs or plaster. The Simha Vihara has two Chaitya halls, one encircling a Buddha image. The Chaitya Halls and monasteries had limestone column set in to brick or stonewalls. However only the lower portions including the pavement slabs and access steps survive. Nagarjunakonda also has remains of some Hindu shrines. The island has an archaeological museum rich in sculptures mainly from the 3rd - 4th century AD and also a few pieces from much later periods. The reconstruction sites are at Anupu on the east bank of the river, which include a temple, monasteries and a Stadium. The monastery has also a refectory, a store and a bath. The stadium has tiered galleries providing around a rectangular court.

Sri Laxmi Chennakesava Swamy Temple - Karampudi - 40KM from Nagarjuna Sagar - ONLY AN OPTION:
Karampudi 35 Kms from Macherla. The historical Chennakesava Swamy temple built by king Brahmanayudu, is located here. Weapons used during the palnadu war have been carefully preserved here.An annual festival to commemorate the memories of the heroes of that war attracts visitors from all over the region.


The main temple is the Sri Laxmi Chennakesava Swamy Temple. It was built around the 13th century A.D. The main gate has one tall Dwajastambam Swamy statue
which is covered with wood and bronze. Close by are four stone figures. They are Sri Madbhagavathamu, Srimannarayana Avataram, Sriman Mahabharatam, and
Srimad Ramayanam.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Sathiya said...

Nice informative post. We were planning to visit Nagarjuna sagar when we were in Hyderabad but didn't get a change. Looks like a lovely place!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how did u book the guest house rooms?
any contact info?

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please mail the details to suresh.kagga@gmail.com

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very informative, better post the timings of launch, which takes us to nagarjunakonda. we missed the launch as we reached after 1:30 pm.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous s kumar said...

the information u have provided is nice. thanks for the information.

12:57 PM  

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