Nalgonda district is home to several renowned historic, religious and natural tourist attractions. These places are ideal to visit as day-trips from Hyderabad with family, and kids.
Nalgonda was earlier referred to as Neelagiri, the name given by some Rajput rulers and the name was changed to Nallagonda only after its conquest by Allauddin Bahaman Shah, a Bahamani king.
The Bhongir (Bhuvanagiri) Fort is a historic fort built on one of the largest monolithic mountain in India. The fort is bang in the middle of Bhongir town, which is situated on the Hyderabad-Warangal Highway. It is about 50 KM from Hyderabad.
Bhongir fort was built on an isolated rock by the western Chalukya ruler Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI and was thus named after him as Tribhuvanagiri.
This name gradually became Bhuvanagiri and subsequently Bhongir. At the foot of the fortified rocks 609.6 meters above the sea level stands the town of Bhongir.
The splendid historical fort with the awe-inspiring rock and the aesthetically fortified courts which have stood the ravages of time stir the imagination of the tourists. The Bala Hisar or citadel on the top of the hill gives a bird’s eye view of the neighbouring area.
The fort is associated with the heroic queen Rudramadevi and her grandson Prataparudra’s rule.
Once upon a time a formidable stronghold of the Recherla Chiefs this fort now stands amidst ruins. A place worth visiting by antiguity lovers it is no more than of archaeological interest. It is surrounded by seven hills and is connected with Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Miryalguda and Hyderabad by road.
Pillamarri is a village with a population of about 3,733. It is situated at a latitude of 17* 12’N and longitude of 79* 32’E. Historically significant this ancient village consists of many splendid temples maintained by State Government. The temples stand testimony to the architectural style of the Kakatiya period. The intricately carved stone pillars add grandeur to these archaeologically significant temples. Trescoes and inscriptions tell the tales of the rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty. There is a Kannada, Telugu inscription dated S. 1130 (A.D 1208) on a stone referring to king Ganapati. Another inscription of S.1117 (A.D 1195) found on a stone in the temple mentions the rule of Rudradeva. Ancient coins have also been discovered at this place. Pillalamarri, being the birth place of the famous Telugu poet Pillamarri Pina Virabhadrudu, is not only historically but also culturally and religiously significant. The sanctorum of Lord Chennakesavaswami is much revered and the annual celebation of the deity, held during February – March is waited to be attended by thousands of devotees
Pochampally situated at a distance of about 14.48 kilometres from Bhongir and 9.66 kilometers from the Bibinagar railway station. Pochampally assumes significance as it is the place of origin of the popular Bhoodan movement led by Acharya Vinoba Bhave in 1950, when offerings of land were donated to the landless poor on his plea.
The impetus to a great movement led by Vinobaji has a humble but a noble beginning at this place. It so happened in 1951 that during Vinobhaji’s tour, 2 Harijans complained that they did not have any land at all. Then a local Deshmuk readily offered 100 acres of his own land for the distribution among the poor. This is said to have given Vinobaji the idea of propagating Bhoodan Yagna. Out of 13,100 acres of donated land nearly 8,290 acres have been distributed among the landless poor.
Located at a distance of 150 kms from Hyderabad, Nagarjunasagar is an important irrigation dam on river Krishna. This is the tallest and biggest masonry dam in the world and is about 150 Km away from the metropolitan city of Hyderabad. It creates the third largest man-made lake in the world. Apart from this, some remains of the Buddhist civilization dating back to the 3rd century A.D, are seen on an island called Nagarjunakonda located in a man-made lake on the other side of the river Krishna. These relics of Buddhist civilization found during excavation unveiled the traces of Mahachaitya, the most sacred of the stupas. An inscription in Brahmi characters states that the sacred relics of Lord Buddha lie within the Mahachaitya.
Similar excavations of the surroundings have brought to light the remains of a university, vihara and monasteries. This University was flourished under Acharya Nagarjuna, the great Buddhist saint, scholar and philosopher who migrated to Nagarjunakonda from Amaravati to spread the message of the Buddha. An “Ashwamedha” sacrifice, altar of tools from Paleolithic and Neolithic times was also found here. The remains of a Buddhist University were found during an excavation while constructing the Nagarjuna Sagar dam.
Interestingly excavations conducted here have also revealed Brahmanical temples, which reveal the friendship that existed here centuries ago between the two faiths. Now though the actual site of the excavations have been flooded with the waters of the mighty river, the relics of the ruins have been reconstructed and kept in an island museum, the largest of its kind in the world and are in an excellent state of preservation-thanks to the efforts of the Archaelogical Survey of India. Today Nagarjunakonda along with Nagarjunasagar attracts many tourists from South East Asian Countries and also from all over India.
Nandi Konda is a small village on the bank of Krishna River where several Buddhist structures like monasteries and pillared halls were unearthed and preserved in a Museum of Central Archeological Department.
The shrines of Panagal constitute perhaps the finest examples of the medieval deccan temples. The temple complex consists of the main shrine dedicated to Siva with the Nandi mandapa in front. The architecture of the temple is the finest. It has 66 pillars. The four central pillars of the mandapa are highly ornate at the bottom and, on them; the scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are depicted. The perfected-screen pattern on the flanks in various dancing poses displays the supreme workmanship accomplished during that period. Dancers and hair styles also adorn the outer walls. These are specially noted for their graceful carving. The beauty of their proportion and the vibrant texture of the shapes which enrich the exterior and their impressive clarity testify the architectural genius of their builders. They also reveal the high perfection reached by the sculptors and architects of that age. The Kakatiya Stapati mastered the idioms of the earlier Chalukya style.
Sri Laxminarsimha Swamy Temple, Yadagirigutta
Yadigirigutta is the abode of Sri Laxmi Narsimha Swamy whose protective presence is felt by believers everywhere. This is known as Second Tirupathi which attracts thousands of people.
Several years ago, Yadarshi, son of the great sage Rishyatunga did ‘tapas’ here with the blessings of Sri. Anjaneya Swamy. Pleased by his devotion and austerity Lord Sri Narshima Swamy appeared before him in his five forms namely Wala, Yogananda, Gandaberunda, Ugra and Laxminarasimha “archa rupams” (forms which can be worshipped). The hill which Narsimha Swamy appeared before Yadarshi has hence came to known as Yadagiri. Day begins early at 4 a.m with Suprabhatam, Abishekam, Archana, Nitya Kalyanam, Satyanarayana Swamy Vratham, Uregimpu Seva and day ends at 9 p.m with Aragimpu,Gosti and Pavalimpu Seva.
Brahmotsavam of the Lord is celebrated from Suddha Vidiya of Palguna Masam to Dwadasi and Narasimha Jayanthi from Suddha Dwadasi of Vyshaka Masam to Chaturdasi. The Temple receives an income of Rs.3.5 crores per annum. The Kshetram is situated at a distance of 60 km from Hyderabad on the Secunderabad-Khajipet rail-road. It is situated at a distance of 6 km from Raigir Railway station and distance of 15 Kms from Bhongir. Number of buses are also available from Hyderabad to Yadagirigutta and Bhongir to Yadagirigutta.
Sri Meenakshi Agastheswarw Swamy, Wadapally
6000 years ago sage Agasthya Maharshi installed the idols of Sri Meenakshi Agasteswara and Sri Laxmi Narsimha at holy SANGAM of Krishna and Musi rivers in Wadepally village of Miryalguda Mandal. For thousands of years the temple place remained in dense forest. During the time of excavation the idols of Lord Shiva were found in the temple and reinstalled the same. Once a hunter was chasing a bird, the bird wanted to save its life. So it hid behind the idol of Lord Shiva by covering it with its wings. Lord Shiva appeared to the hunter and asked him not to kill the bird. Lord Shiva assured the hunter that he would offer his brain instead of bird. Then the hunter agreed to him and had the brain of Shiva by inserting his fingers. As he did so, holes were made on his head. Goddess Ganga rose out of the holes, soon after this incident. There are holes on the SIVA LINGAM in which 10 figures can be inserted. Even after taking large quantities of water from the holes, the level of water does not go down. Once Sri Shankaracharya visited the temple along with his disciples. They wanted to find out the reason as to why the water level is not going down therefore they tied a thread to spoon and dropped it into the hole then it went inside deep and stopped. When they pulled up the thread, they found blood stains on that, then realized their mistakes and begged pardon from the God.
Sri Laxmi Narsimhaswamy, Wadapally
Sri Narasimha Swamy is blessing the devotees with health and prosperity who pray him soulfully. The sacred river Krishna is having a very prominent place in the history of our country. Vadapalle is the place where river Krishna and Moosi River meet and jointly flow. Vadapalli is near to Vishnupuram of Nalagonda District and in between Bibinagar and Nadikundi Railway Stations. The coming together of these two rivers in the shape of “L” attracts irresistibly the viewers.
At the confluence of these rivers, there is a very old temple of Sri Narasimha Swamy. According to the Puranas, Vyasa Bhagavan knowing the piousness of the place meditated for a long time for the manifestation of Sri Narasimha Swamy. Commiserating at the continued penance of Vysa Bhagavan Lord Maha Vishnu again transfigured as Narasimha Swamy and appeared to the former, with ferocious looks of a lion. Vyasa Bhagavan experienced that Lord Narasimha, who was taking breath with uncontrolled anger, had come to him just after killing Hiranyakasipu. He, therefore, entreated Sri Narasimha Swamy to manifest at Vadapalli in that form only. Accordingly, Sri Narasimha Swamy manifested there to bless the devotees and to alleviate their difficulties. It is believed that even now that idol breathes in and let it out. The temple authorities have arranged two lamps. One of the lights of the lamp used for showing the face of the Lord will be quivering to testify the fact that the Lord is taking breath and letting it out. The light of the other lamp, which is kept below remain resolutely.
Sri Jain Mandir, Kolanpaka
The Jain Shrine at Kolanupaka village in Nalgonda district is more than 2000 years old and is renovated very recently by employing more than 150 artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat. This temple near Alair, three holy idols of Lord Adinath, Lord Neminath and Lord Mahaveer and 21 other “Theerthankars”. The Kolanupaka temple has a great history.
Lord Vrishaba Deva populary called Adinath Bhagvan was the first “Theerthankara” in the Jain religion. It is believed that the original idol of Lord Adinath, known locally as Manikya Deva has made Kolanupaka its abode. Kolanupaka Temple which is in its present form itself is more 800 years old. It is belived that Jainism was prevalent in Andhra Pradesh before 4 th Century and Kolanupaka was one of the prominent centres of Jainism.
Mellacheruvu, popularly known as ‘Daksina Kasi’ is situated at a distance of 9.6 km from Huzurnagar and 67.6 km from the Khammam railway station. This village is connected to the important commercial city of Vijayawada by a canal way.
The village has still restored the glimpses of Kakatiyan architecture which is manifested in one of most celebrated temples of Swayambhu Sambhulingeswara Swami. A notable feature of the temple is that on the top of the lingam there is a hole of about 2 inches in circumferance which is full of water in all seasons and the place therefore came to the known as Dakshina Kasi (Varanasi of the South). There is a legend associated with this lingam which is 1.83 metres in height and 0.34 metre in diameter. There is a belief in the local populace that the lingam in Swayambhu Sambhulingeswara Swami temple is growing in height. It is also interesting to find that for every 0.305 metre of growth there forms round lines on it.
Devotees worshiping the lingam with reverence. Every day ‘Pooja’ is celebrated in the temple where devotees in large number visit the temple to receive the blessings of the Lord. They decorate the lingam by applying Kumkum (vermillion) dots on six lines found on the lingam.
Every year, during the season of Mahasivaratri festival, the Kalyanotsavam of the deity is celebrated with devotion and this event forms one of the greatest instances where people gather in thousands. Nearly 10,000 Hindu devotees from the districts of Hyderabad, Warangal, Guntur, Krishna and Nalgonda congregate during the ‘Kalyanotsavam’. Thus Mellacheruvu, occupies a significant place in the locational aspect of temples in Telangana