Looking for a breezy weekend getaway from Hyderabad? Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam are possibly among the best options available. Located near Nalgonda district, Nagarjunasagar Reservoir is considered to be the largest manmade water body in the world and Srisailam has one of the largest tiger reserves in the country.
Nagarjunasagar is situated 150 kilometers away from Hyderabad and it takes about four hours to reach the place. After a stopover at Nagarjunasagar, the trip proceeds to Srisailam which is about 200 kilometers away from Nagarjunasagar. A road trip would be of a lesser duration but MetroMela suggests that you take the ferry from Nagarjunasar to Srisailam, which though takes six hours is a wonderful experience. The scenery on the way is a treat to the eyes.
Things to do at Nagarjunasagar
Nagarjunasagar Dam is a must visit. Almost 124 meters in height and a kilometer in length, it is a sight in itself. The city is also the site for famous Buddhist excavations. In fact, the name Nagarjunasagar is derived from a famous Buddhist monk Nagarjuna.
Nagarjunasagarkonda should be the next stop. It is a wonderful Island Museum situated in the middle of Nagarjunasagar lake. The museum has an amazing collection of artifacts from the olden times and is a window to the Buddhist civilization that existed. You can spend some good time on the green lawn around the museum, on the bank of the lake.
Another must-visit is the marvelous Ethipothala Falls, which is where Tummala Vagu, Nakkala Vagu and Chandravanka Vagu rivers meet. The place is apt for an evening visit when the waterfall is lit up. Interestingly, it’s said that the caves around these falls lead to Srisailam.
Things to do at Srisailam
Srisailam Tiger Reserve is one of the best that the country has, but it has not seen tourism for a while and hence the government is still trying hard to boost the image of the Reserve. But if you get a chance, do explore.
For those spiritually inclined, Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple is worth a visit. It lies in the midst of the dense forests on Nallamalai Hill. Dedicated to Shiva and Parvati, it is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva.
The aerial ropeway on the ghat called Patalganga is another activity that should not be missed. Ditto with the ferry ride around the ghats. MetroMela also suggests the adventurous ones to discover their own trekking trails around the place.
Then there’s Srisailam hydro-electric project that also houses a crocodile breeding centre. All in all, it’s is a perfect mix for heritage, culture and nature lovers.
The best option is the APTDC guesthouse. For a package cost of around Rs. 2,000 for non-AC bus package and Rs. 2,500 for AC bus package, you get food, lodging and transport. The tourist bus picks you up from the APTDC office in Hyderabad on Saturday early morning and takes you to Nagarjunasagar. Later, you get a ferry ride to Srisailam. All the entry fees to the respective attractions are covered in the trip tariff except the one to the Mallikarjunaswamy Temple. This two days-one night trip is also available on weekdays.
A trip to Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam can promise a relaxing yet fun weekend. So pack your bags, catch the bus, sail through the Krishna, trek along the trails and meditate on the banks of the river!
By Lekshmi Nair