Nagarjuna Sagar Dam Srisailam
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam SrisailamShutterstock

A Weekend Break At Yelleswaragattu Island In Telangana

Also known as Mystery Island, it is located in the middle of the backwaters of the Nagarjunasagar Dam

Yelleswaragattu Island is located in the backwaters of the Nagarjunasagar Dam in Telangana state. This forgotten island is located around 169 kilometres from Hyderabad, and it takes about three hours to get there. Also known as Mystery Island, it is located near Kambalapally village in Telangana's Nalgonda district, in the middle of the backwaters of the Nagarjunasagar Dam. 

Things To Do

Treks And Camping: Trek through fields and forests to the crystal clear blue lake's edge. From here, you must descend a steep hill covered in thorny shrubs, and you will come to the top. Awe-inspiring views of hillocks, irrigation lands, and water bluer than the sky will greet you, along with fishermen loading their fresh catch. The view of the Nallamala Hills will enchant you. You can camp out and stay overnight here. But bring your tents, some packed food and water, a basic first-aid kit, torches, and raincoats. And make sure to bring power banks. However, don't expect a good cellphone signal in this remote area. 

Start the ascent as soon as possible before it gets dark. A word of caution: the water can get dangerously high sometimes, so exercise caution and avoid camping at that time. If you decide against staying the night, simply descend the hill, where the boat will be waiting to take you back to the mainland.

Visit Old Temples: On top are ancient temples where locals celebrate Maha Shivaratri. These temples are believed to have been established long before the dam was built. The temples here are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pilgrims used to walk from here to SriSailam (110 km away), one of Shiva's twelve Jyotirlingas. The original temple idol has been replaced and is currently kept at the Sri Ranganatha Swamy Devalayam in Anupu.

Go Stargazing: This location is wonderful for stargazing. Bring a telescope if you have one to get a better look at the stars. Equally stunning is the scene that greets you when you wake up in the morning. The daybreak behind the hills and the peaceful murmur of the waves take your breath away. You can also see fishermen preparing their nets for the day's catch. 

Getting There

The island is around 170 km from Hyderabad and takes about three hours to reach. Drive to Kambalapally village, Chandampet Mandal, Nalgonda District. The local fishermen charge around INR 1,500 for rides to the island. You can include the Vizag Colony Boating Centre as a destination on the map to ensure correct location information.

Best Time To Visit: Avoid the monsoon as water levels may get too high, and summers are quite hot. Autumn and winters are the best seasons to visit.

Outlook Traveller