Nelakondapalli is a town located in Khammam district of Telangana, India. Situated at a distance of 21km from Khammam, the town is located at a major road junction from Khammam to Kodad and Kusumanchi. Nelakondapalli is surrounded by Mudigonda Mandal towards North, Kodad Mandal towards South, Chinthakani Mandal towards East and Kusumanchi Mandal towards North. The town is 197 km from the state capital Hyderabad. Nelakondapalli is famous for its Buddhist excavations dated back to the ages of Mahabharata.
The historic site of Nelakondapalli is guarded by a mud wall covering nearly 100 acres of area. The excavation conducted during 1977, has unraveled some brick built Viharas, cisterns, wells and a Mahastupa. Terracotta statues, limestone carved miniature stupa and a bronze idol of Buddha has also been unearthed during these excavations. These findings date back to 3rd and 4th century.
The sites known as Virataraju Dibba and Keechaka Gundam claimed to have existed since the age of great Hindu epic Mahabharata and the unearthed relics bear strong evidence tracing back to that period. According to history, Virata Raju was the king of Virata Nagaram and under his reign the Pandavas went 12 years of exile in the forests and remote places. Keechaka who was the brother-in-law of Virata misbehaved with Draupadi , the wife of Pandavas. Photographs and images found during the excavations lead to the claim that the site was birthplace of Kancharla Gopanna popularly known as Bhakta Ramdas, the 17th century devotee of Rama. The temple of Ramdas illustrate the historic past of this site.
Apart from the notable Buddhist site, the village of Nelakondapalli is home to many ancient temples including three Shiva temples and two Vaishnava temples. Dashera is one of the main festivals celebrated with pomp and grandeur in the village hence attracting many devotees from neighboring villages.
How to Reach
Nelakondapalli is 197 km from the capital city of Hyderabad and it takes around 3hrs to reach the place from here. Hyderabad airport is well connected to every major domestic airport in the country along with some international cities. Once you reach Hyderabad, traveling to the village of Nelakondapalli is easy by a car or buses which run to Khammam from Hyderabad. There are government buses that travel to the destination at regular intervals.
Nelakondapalli has no major railway in less than 10 km distance and Mallemadugu Railway Station is the closest junction available to Khammam. However, Vijayawada Railway Junction is the major railway station which is located at a distance of 99 km from the village.
There are several hotels nearby for eating and lodging like the Krishna Hotel, Harsha Residency Hotel, Supreme Hotel, Vishnu Hotel and Venus International Hotel. All of them are located in Khammam. There is also Sri Bhakta Ramdas memorial festival held in the village of Nelakondapalli every year between 28 April and 2nd May.
Winter is the best time to visit Nelakondapalli as the weather remains comfortable to enjoy an historic visit to this ancient Buddhist site.