Srisailam Dam has been constructed across river Krishna, a few kilometres away from the main town of Srisailam. The dam has been strategically built over a deep gorge within the Nallamala Hills. The dam has the distinction of being the second largest hydroelectric project in India. The Srisailam Dam project was started in the year 1960, and it took 20 years to complete the project.
What had started out as a hydroelectric project was also made into a multipurpose facility that includes a generating capacity of 770 MW. Today, the dam provides water for an area covering 2,200 sq km. The inflow into the Srisailam reservoir does not require power generation for storage and hence, water is stored in large quantities.
During the flooding, the Srisailam reservoir gets filled up pretty quick, and the rest of the flood water flows into the Nagarjunasagar Dam that is located at a lesser height. The flood water is not used for power generation.
Srisailam Sanctuary is a must visit if you are in and around the area of Srisailam. The sanctuary is India’s largest tiger reserve. It has been built over a staggering area of 3568 sq km. Going around the sanctuary is an adventure in itself even if you fail to spot any animals. The region of the sanctuary covers a rugged terrain with winding and deep gorges at every other step.
The area inside the sanctuary is completely covered with dry deciduous forests that include many bamboo plants as well. Inside the sanctuary, you can spot a variety of wild animals including tigers, leopards, hyenas, jungle cats, palm civets, sloth bears, deer and pangolin as well as bonnet macaque.
The sanctuary that is located very close to the Srisailam Dam is also home to a wide variety of crocodiles that can be found lazing in the down waters of the dam.
The Akka Mahadevi Caves are located on the ranges of the Nallamalai Hills and are at a distance of about 10 km from Srisailam. There is evidence to believe that the caves have been in existence since the prehistoric times. In fact, the caves have played a pivotal role in the history of the town.
The cave has obtained its name, for it is believed that the famous 12th-century philosopher and lyricist from Karnataka, Akka Mahadevi did penance and offered prayers to a Shivalingam that was naturally existant deep inside the very same cave.
The Akka Mahadevi Caves are naturally formed caves and are located very near to the upstream of the river Krishna. The main cave has a naturally formed rock arch that is considered a geographical marvel. The arch measures approximately 200x16x4 ft and has no support of any kind at all.
Tourists are attracted more to the arch than to what lies inside the caves. The rocks, without doubt, are the most attractive things inside the cave especially since they are proven to be as old as life on earth. Travelling to the cave is an experience in itself as one has to journey through river Krishna. Exploring the 150 m depth of the cave is an experience that is sure to leave the travellers spellbound.
Sivaji Spurti Kendra is located at Srisailam and is the sports centre of the town. The centre has been named after the great Maratha warrior Shivaji. One has to ascend a flight of 30 steps to reach the centre. The building of the centre is an impressive structure and there is a statue of Shivaji shown seated on a canopied throne.
The centre is guarded with banisters on all sides and one can lean against these banisters to get an amazing view of the valley below. You can also easily spot the Srisailam Dam afar. The sports centre was built with the aim of encouraging participation in sports activities for all age groups of children.
Many people send their children to the centre for learning various sports including cricket, football, tennis, badminton and more. Many children from the centre have represented the state of Andhra Pradesh at various national level games.
Mallela Theertham is a waterfall that is located about 50 km from the town of Srisailam. The waterfall has religious significance and is visited by thousands of devotees each year. The waterfall is in the middle of a thick jungle but is easily accessible via a bumpy road drive. The road is not motorable during the monsoon season.
The waterfalls holds importance for the Hindus because it is believed that bathing in the holy waters of the fall will wash off your earthly sins and help you attain salvation or moksha. The waterfall is also believed to have magical healing powers and can cure a number of diseases related to skin and muscle joints.
One has to be a little careful when approaching the waterfalls because around 250 steps are to be descended into the valley to reach the falls. These steps tend to be slippery, and one has to be very careful with their steps and not tread down in a hurry.