For the Yousufguda congregation their day at Nagarjuna Sagar was memorable for a number of reasons. It was the first outing ever for their congregation and the chosen venue was not just any place with breathtaking views and lots of facilities. Nagarjuna Sagar had an interesting story that they were waiting to hear.
There was an excitement in the air. Even before the sun could rise the Yousufguda congregation, one of the oldest congregations in Hyderabad, had gathered to celebrate a Divine Service. Afterwards, 120 members excitedly boarded buses that were waiting to take them to their destination: Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.
The congregation made its first pit stop after a few hours. The youth served everyone a good and delicious breakfast after which they all boarded the bus and continued their journey.
Nagarjuna Sagar: A Dam and its Story
The the 150 meter tall and 1.6 kilometer long dam was conceived by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1903 who then commissioned British engineers to construct it so that it would irrigate the fields in Telegana. The Nizam did not provide any funds for the project and so the project was shelved. The project was brought back to the table in 1955. Prime Minster Jawarhal Nehru gave the green signal to constructing the dam and on 10 December 1955, the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was inaugurated. Construction started and the dam was completed in 1967. While constructing the dam, the workers made some startling discoveries during excavation – an ancient Buddhist settlement and 30 Buddhist monasteries, along with artwork and inscriptions.
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was one of the first hydro-electric projects in India. Nicknamed modern temple, this project was part of the government’s Green Revolution in India initiative. The dam was built in Nagarjuna Sagar across the Krishna river. The river enters the Nalgonda District in Telangana and Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh. Residents, especially farmers in Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, Khammam, West Godavari and Nalgonda districts have benefited from the dam and its hydro-electricity plant.
One Big Happy Meal
The group reached the dam mid afternoon. After stretching their legs a bit, they decided to have lunch. Everyone brought their own lunch, many of which turned out to be the trademark Hyderabadi biryani. Tiffins and lunch boxes were passed around and everyone enjoyed sampling each others’ food.
Let the Games Begin
After lunch everyone was energized and ready for some action. They proceeded to a park close by and while the younger children skipped, others played badminton, football, and other sports.
Many games later they were ferried to Nagarjuna Konda, a little island in the middle of the dam. They explored the museum and had a few refreshments, following which they were ferried back to the mainland.
At the end of a tiring yet exciting day everyone boarded the buses and headed back to their church where dinner awaited them. After dinner and fellowship everyone returned home with happy memories and a song in their heart. The first ever Yousufguda church outing was a great success!
Words: Prabhakar Beergi / BBMH
Images: Prabhakar Beergi