An engineering marvel with three galleries embedded at different elevations, Nagarjunasagar withstands the pressure of the water it contains, by its sheer weight. Even after 50 years of existence, its performance is astounding. All its safety parameters like uplift pressure, stress, deflection and tilt are found to be within the safe limits by the 206 gadgets that work round the clock.
The dam cheats the naked eye by tilting forward by a fraction of an inch during heavy floods but swings back to normal position. During the recent floods, the spillway discharged an enormous quantity of seven lakh cusecs, still four lakh cusecs short of its designed capacity.
It were the Nizams who originally proposed the dam at the present site, then tiger-infested forests, naming it as “Nandikonda” project after two villages Nandi and Konda which were to be submerged in the reservoir later. When the new state of A.P. took over the project, it was re-christened after Acharya Nagarjuna, Buddhist sage who lived in the Nandikonda valley centuries ago running a university on a riverbank, now called Anupu.