I always complain that folks from Pune and Bengaluru are blessed when it comes to places to visit nearby. Panchgani, Lonavala, Khandala and the likes for Punekars and Coorg, Madikeri, Mysore for Bangaloreans. There are so many places to visit. Hyderabadis sadly don’t have many at a one-day road trip distance. And one of the most popular one-day road trips is from Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar. In fact, this was my first road trip with my new Tata Punch!
So without much a do, here’s all you need to know about your perfect road trip from Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar.
Things to do at Nagarjuna Sagar
Before I talk about the road trip in itself, I’m sure many of you would want to know what are the places of interest at Nagarjuna Sagar. And if you think it’s only the dam, then you’re wrong! I’ve been here a few weeks back and covered a few places that are at a short drive distance from the dam.
Below are the places to visit at Nagarjuna Sagar
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
This is the reason you’re visiting Nagarjuna Sagar. Built across the Krishna River in the Nalgonda district, is one of the earliest megastructures in India. It was part of the green revolution and aimed to help farmers. Constructed in the 1960s, the dam is 150mts tall and 1.6km long with 26 flood gates and is jointly operated by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The megastructure is in its full glory when the flood gates are open, usually in the months of August, and September. Go close to the dam, and click some amazing photos, the bridge across the dam provides some breathtaking views.
Telangana tourism built a massive Buddhist theme park called Buddhavanam. It depicts the life of Buddha, his preachings and major events in the history of Buddhism. There’s also a Maha Stupa (recreation of Amaravati Stupa) The wall of the stupa has intricate carvings depicting the life of Buddha and important events. There’s also a Buddha statue gifted by the Govt. Of Sri Lanka and a small park too.
A little further from the Nagarjuna Sagar dam are the Ethipothala gall. It’s a 70 feet river cascade on the river Chandravanka – a tributary of Krishna. There are three streams which are amidst lush green forests. It isn’t one of the largest waterfalls but worth the visit if you’re here. There’s also a temple of lord Dattatreya nearby and devotees throng this place.
So these are the major attractions near Nagarjuna Sagar dam which you shouldn’t miss out on. All of this can be easily covered in your one-day road trip from Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar
Hyderabad To Nagarjuna Sagar Road Trip
Nagarjuna Sagar is about 180kms from Hyderabad, it’s about 130kms from where I stay. The easiest way is to take the Nehru ORR road and get down at Bongloor, Exit 12. From there, take the Sagar road that takes you straight to Nagarjuna Sagar. It’s the state highway 19 which starts from Chanchalguda and connects to Nagarjuna Sagar.
The road is a mix of two-lane and single lanes as it passes through small towns along the way. The road condition for the majority of the route is good. Expect a small rough patch, it’s good overall. You need to be wary of cattle and bikers jumping on the route at times. You’ll pass through towns like Ibrahimpatnam, Yacharm and Mallepally to name a few. It’s a straight road followed by some ghat section when nearing the Nagarjuna Sagar dam.
The road towards Ethipothala falls is a single lane which is quite narrow for the most part of you. You need to pay Rs 50 twice while entering the area. It can get tricky at the fag end of the route especially if you have a big car or are a first-time driver.
Food and Refreshments
You’ll find a lot of small eateries, and carts along the route but not a proper dhaba / restaurant. Though the route is quite busy, I was surprised not to see many eateries. The small towns on the way have those small eating joints but that’s it.
At Nagarjuna Sagar though you’ll find a few places which again aren’t great. On the bridge opposite the dam, you’ll find a lot of people selling fresh fruit juice. At Ethipothala falls too there are fruit juice, and ice cream vendors. There’s also a very basic canteen inside that serves tea, water, cold drinks and a few dishes.
All in all, not a route where you’ll find good food. When I went, I took some Idli, Vada from a restaurant near my house. We stopped on the way and had it.
Best Time To Visit
While the Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar road trip can be taken at any time, there’s always the best time to visit. It’s usually in the months of July to October when it rains, and Nagarjuna Sagar comes to life. Though you may find a lot of people visiting around that time.
In terms of the time of the day, it’s best to start at 4-5 am in the morning and plan to reach Nagarjuna Sagar by sunrise. The views then are breathtaking and the coolness in the air is something worth experiencing. If you leave a little late, be ready to drive under the scorching sun.
Fun road trip from Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar
If you’re staying in Hyderabad and looking for a one-day road trip, this one from Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar is the best to get started. Be it on your bike or car, it’s a good distance to cover, with good roads, and nice landscapes along the way. While you can spend a night there, but I’d suggest it’s perfect for a one-day road trip only.