Nagarjunakonda is about 16 miles by motor road from Macherla on the Southern Railway. The latter is the terminus or a branch line from Guntur on the Southern Railway. Most of the monuments of Nagarjunakonda are in ruins.
The older name of Nagarjunakonda was Sri Parvata. Hiuen Tsang tells us that a Satavahana king built there a monastery for Nagarjuna, the famous Buddhist divine of the second century A.D.
On the site of Nagarjunakonda, there stood a great city named Vijayapuri which, as a place of learning and pilgrimage, was visited by people from all parts of India, Ceylon and China.
Some of the donors at Nagarjunakonda were the Buddhist queens and princesses of the Ikshvaku dynasty although their husbands were followers of Brahmanism.
One Vihara in Nagarjunakonda is named Sihala Vihara. It was founded for the accommodation of marks from Ceylon. This Vihara contained a shrine with a Bodhi tree.
The Stupas at Nagarjunakonda were constructed in the form of a wheel on plan with hub, spokes and tyre complete, all in brick work. In section, their construction resembles an umbrella.
The dome of the Stupa rested on a drum 3 to 5 feet high. At the four cardinal points, a rectangular platform projected outwards and served as an altar for the floral offerings of the worshippers.
In the larger Stupas, each platform supported five stone pillars. We have the relic of Buddha in the Great Stupa of Nagarjunakonda.
As the Nagarjunakonda site is to be flooded by the construction of a dam on the river, it has been dug up completely.
Excavations have brought to light the remains of a number of other Stupas, monasteries, sculptures, inscriptions, etc.
However, when those are interpreted in detail, those would add to our knowledge of the Satavahana period of Indian history.
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