Nagarjunakonda or Nagarjuna’s hill on the right bank of river Krishna forms part of Nallamlai ranges, overlooking the valley below on its southern side it is believed that the celebrated Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna lived here and propounded the sunyavada. But none of the vestiges found here so far corroborate this view. Some important structures like maha stupa, Buddha chaitya, vihara complex, bathing ghat and others were reconstructed on this hill to save them from submergence due to construction of Nagarjunasagar dam.
Mahastupa: This is the principal stupa at Nagarjunakonda and is referred to in the inscription on the Ayaka Pillars as “Maha-Chaitya”, since it contained a bone relic probably, of the Buddha himself. Chamtisiri, a lady of the Ikshvaku line renovated this Mahastupa during the 6th year of the reign of King Sri Virapurushadatta of the Ikshvaku line (3rd century A.D). The construction was carried out under the supervision of the reverend Ananda. The stupa is wheel shaped on plan having a diameter of about 27.5 meters, with Ayaka platforms surmounted by Ayaka pillars at the four cardinal directions.
Apsidal shrine: (Bodhisiri chaitya): Named after its builder Bodhisiri (3rdc.AD), this reconstructed apsidal shrine (chaitya griha), which was originally part of a monastery was dedicated to the Buddhist monks of Srilanka and is credited to have converted people from various parts of the country and abroad
Bathing ghat: This monument, transplanted and reconstructed from site 34 is datable to the early centuries of Christian era and was located to the west of Pushpabhadraswamy temple on the riverbank. While the larger steps are meant for negotiating the water level round the year, the smaller side steps are meant for making both ascending and descending an easy task. Label inscriptions and mason marks can be seen on the blocks of steps.
Asvamedha complex: This reconstructed complex was originally located to the west the valley near the river and comprises different structures attributed to ritualistic nature. Amongst them a stepped holy tank meant for ceremonial or ritualistic bathing has been provided with lime plaster. Animal bone remains retrieved from this place further suggests that the structure was associated with ritualistic activity.
Bahusrutiya vihara: Built by Bhattidevi during the reign of Yehuvula Chamtamula, this vihara was originally located at the foothill of Nagarjunakonda and was dedicated for the masters of bahusrutiya sect.
Megaliths: The reconstructed cist burial from the site –44, in east west orientation had contained four skulls and other associated funerary materials like typical black and red ware and iron objects. The orthostats are mostly undressed. This burial is of the pre-christian era.
University complex (Monastries), Anupu: This reconstructed complex comprises of two large monastic establishments with provision for adequate sanitary arrangements and has been rightly identified as the famous University of Nagarjunakonda valley. One of them provide separate accommodation for female disciples and had a double chaitya griha, one for stupa and the other for Buddha’s idol while the other has four winged vihara around a central mandapa and an oblong Buddha shrine located in it. This complex has also yielded buddhapadas, gold casket containing relics and other materials.
Hariti temple, Anupu: The Hariti temple located at the Phirangulabodu is accessed by a plight of steps through a narrow passage. The figure carved in limestone has lost its torso and is in pralamba pada mudra (dangling feet). Based on stylistic grounds it is dated to 4th-5th c. ad.
Amphi theatre, Anupu: This quadrangular shaped stadium of size 17×14 m. with brick galleries on four sides is veneered with Cuddapah slabs. The stone bench on its southeastern corner facilitates the assembled visitors to wash their feet and the nearby drain to drain out the used water. One of the benches has a triratna and bow and arrow marks. The acoustic property of this stadium is worth observing.
Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – Rs. 25 per head & Foreigner: Rs.300/-
(Free entry for children below the age of 15)