Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is the world's largest masonry dam built across Krishna River in Nagarjuna Sagar,Nalgonda District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is downstream to the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir with a capacity of up to 11,472 million cubic metres which is the world's largest man-made lake.
Once in a while it’s fun to play tourist and go sightseeing. So there we were last Saturday, eight of us from work, starting out at the ungodly hour of nine in the morning. The dam is approx 160 kms from Hyderabad, about a three hour drive, but what with the stopping for breakfast, the photo sessions along the way, and the getting lost (only one person knew the way) we reached the place at around 2 PM, just in time to get on to the last launch.
Before reaching the launch station, we stopped at the bridge which was built across the river and is the main thoroughfare. The dam was amazing. They had opened only half of the 26 gates but it was still a breathtaking view. There you have this big structure, and water was flowing from the gates, crashing into the river below and you could see the white foam rising, forming a spray of white cloud at the base. And if you turned around you could see the river stretching as far as the eye could see, a beautiful sight. It was a humid cloudy day and I wished for blue skies so the river would look more beautiful.
We took the launch, which was a big old boat, and off we went cruising on the Krishna River. It was a slow ride and we went crazy taking photographs and videos. It was a very calm day, and since we were moving at a very slow speed you could barely see the ripples on the surface. There we were, in the middle of the river, and all around us was the sky and water and jungles. It was very quiet and peaceful and made you marvel at the wonder of creation. I remembered a poem about the poet wishing to go down to the sea, and I think I knew how he felt. Being surrounded by all that calm, with no worries and no cares in life and where time doesn’t matter, what more could a man want?
The launch took us to a small island called Nagarjunakonda where you could find a Buddhist museum. But we didn’t visit the museum because time ran out on us. After lunching on the island it was time for the last launch to leave and we hastily packed our stuff and went back to the mainland. The sun was setting as we sailed towards the launch station, but I was too tired I fell asleep and didn’t take the sun-setting-over-the-river photos.
It was almost dark by then, and we had one last stop to make. Ethipothala Waterfalls which is about 11 kms from the dam. By the time we reached the falls it was completely dark and so we just viewed the illuminated falls from the viewpoint above it.
Then we finally headed for home, a long and exhausting drive after roaming about for the whole day and sleeping for just a few hours the previous night. It is Navratri, so we stopped at a temple on the way and our Hindu friends went inside for prayers. It was eleven when I reached home.
There are guest houses and motels near the dam, and my friends tell me the river is beautiful in the morning, and I'm sure watching the sun rise over the river would be a memorable experience.
Here is the poem about the poet wishing to go down to the sea –
Sea Fever – by John Masefield:
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.