A site to behold when its gates are opened during peak flood season in Monsoon, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is considered one of largest dams built in the recent times in Asia. As the tallest masonry dam, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is also the pride of India. The colossal dam was built for the purpose of water supply and irrigation to Nalgonda and Khammam districts of Telangana. The project has catchment area of roughly 215000 sq.km. The project also boasts of the largest canal system network in India .The mighty dam was completed in the year 1969 and has a majestic height of 124 meters. It is 1 km long, and has 26 crest gates. The dam can store upto 11, 472 million cubic meters of water in the reservoir.
The project commenced in February 1956 and after a brief gap, due to lack of modern equipment it was constructed with stone rather than concrete. Nearby at Macherla a cement factory was constructed to meet the project requirements. The dam was completed fully in 1972 once the crest gates were installed. The dam has two canals, the left and right canals that supply water from the reservoir. The dam is also one of the earliest projects built in post independence India for irrigation and hydro-electricity generation. Exclusively for the purpose of tourism, a lake developed behind the dam, which boasts of its status as the third largest man-made lake anywhere in the world.
A beautiful landscape and strikingly scenic water body adds beauty to the impressive structure. The turbines for power generation are located towards Nalgonda (Telangana) district. The dam derives its name from a nearby hillock and island called Nagarjunakonda, where an ancient Buddhist Guru had once lived. There is a famous and well-maintained museum here that houses ancient artifacts. Apart from the lake where regular boating facilities are provided, tourists can also visit other attractions such as Ethipothala waterfalls, and Srisailam Wildlife Reserve close by. The dam was envisioned to be a temple of modern India, according to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Apart from meeting drinking water needs, irrigation and power requirements, the dam is an attractive tourist destination owing to the large reservoir, the mighty flow when the crest gates are open present a panoramic view which enthralls tourists. Hyderabad is the nearest airport, which takes you to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. Regular buses and taxis ply from Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar. Macherla, the nearest railway station is located 24 km from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.