Tracing the history of this modern township, you will know that it was earlier called Vijayapuri, or the city of victory. Vijayapuri was a then a major centre for Buddhist learning and went on to become the capital of Ikshvaku kingdom. The Ikshvaku kingdom ruled the region for 100 years and were great patrons of Buddhism. Their fame and along with them, the fame of Buddhism crossed boundaries to reach Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesian archipelago, Thailand and China.
Today, Nagarjuna Sagar has three settlements – Vijaypuri or V.P. South, Pylon and Hill colony.
* Nagarjunkonda : Nagarjunkonda is located in the midst of an artificial lake and is an island museum which is one of its kind in the region. The museum gives an appearance of a vihara or a monastery and preserves within a commendable collection of relics of Buddhist art and culture. The main stupa or the Maha Chaitya here preserves the sacred relics of the Buddha. An instant eyecatcher here is the ruined monolithic statue of the Buddha which seems to spread peace and tranquility. To reach Nagarjunakonda, you can take a steam boat from Launch station located in V.P.South.
* Anupu : Anupu is located quiet a few km away from Nagarjunasagar dam and is a site of Buddhist excavations. Reconstruction work with meticulous detail was executed here and today the the place is great for those interested architecture. There is a reconstructed 3rd century vihara and an amphitheatre with fine acoustics.
* Nagarjunasagar Dam : Nagarjunasagar dam is counted amongst the earliest hydro electric projects of India. The construction of the dam gave birth to the world’s third largest man made lake. A mere glance at the lake and the dam is enough to sweep you of your feet. The hugeness of the dam is captivating. The canals to its right and left are called Bahadur canal and Jawahar canal. The two serve the water needs of a large population of the area. The dam is also helpful for irrigation purpose and has contributed a lot in making Andhra the Rice Bowl of India.
* NagarjunaSagar - Srisalam Wildlife Sanctuary : A motorboat ride along the Krishna river will take you from Nagarjuna Sagar to Srisalam. Enroute, you will come across thick dense forest that is home to wild animals like tiger, panther, nilgai, sdpotted deer and wild boar. Enjoy a visit to this forest.
* Ethipothala Waterfalls : The beautiful Ethipothala Waterfalls can be seen just 11 km from the NagarjunSagar Dam. The waterfall cascades down a hill from a height of 22m and presents a breathtaking beauty. There are also cave temples around which make the spot all the more attractive for picnic. You can also explore the Crocodile Breeding Farm which is located closeby.
* Nandikonda : Nandikonda, a village where a number of Buddhist structures like monasteries and pillared halls were excavated. The Buddhist remains now form part of a museum of the Central Archaeological Department.
* Kolanupaka : Another village which is known for Buddhist and Jain Temples is Kolanupaka also lies close to Nalgonda. It is located 80 kms away from Hyderabad and the Jain temple here is around 2000 years old. Within, the temple is a 1.5 m high image of Mahavira carved in jade.
Getting ThereBy Air - The airport at Hyderabad is the closest one to reach NagarjunaSagar.
By Rail - The closest railhead is at Macheral, around 22 kms away but the preferred railhead is at Nalgonda, some 60 km away.
By Road - Buses and taxis are available from Hyderabad to reach NagarjunaSagar.