NagarjunaKonda is one of the important
tourist attractions of Andhra
Pradesh, which is located about 150-km southeast of
on the Krishna
River. It was one of the largest and most important Buddhist centres
in southern India from the 2nd century BC until 3rd century AD.
Nagarjunakonda 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.
The Buddhist Narrative Sculptures
Nagarjunakonda is one of the richest sources of Buddhist narrative sculpture discovered in India during the 20th century. Nagrjunakonda, 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 site underwent several excavations until 1960, when the area was flooded to provide for Nagarjunasagar Dam. The excavated remains are some outstanding examples of white marble carvings and sculptures depicting the life of the Buddha.
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 lay within the Mahachaitya. The ruins of a university, vihara, monasteries and an 'Aswamedha' sacrificial alter, as well as prehistoric tools from Paleolithic and Neolithic times were also discovered here.
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 renovated the original stupa in the 3rd century.
Rail: Macherla is the nearest
Road: A regular bus service connects Macherla with Nagarjunasagar. Tour facilities are also available from Hyderabad , conducted by AP Tourism. The tour covers Nagarjunakonda Museum, Right Canal and Ethipothala water falls.
Guesthouses and hotels are available in