Warangal Travel Information
One of the greatest ruling clans of Andhra Desa made this fort city its capital. Orugallu, as it was known, is today's modern Warangal. During the reign of the Kakatiyas, Telugu culture and literature attained great heights. Some of the finest forms of architecture in the whole of South India can be seen in the ruins of the once glorious empire. Only the beauty of the surrounding lakes matches its historic past. Welcome to Warangal, the heartland of Andhra. The capital of the Kakatiya empire.
Warangal is well connected by rail from New Delhi, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Chennai. The city is a cluster of three towns - Warangal, Kazipet and Hanamkonda. Today, the city and the district of Warangal offer, for the connoisseurs of art, architecture and nature, a rich spread.
Thousand Pillar Temple:
One of the most famous monuments of Andhra Pradesh, the Thousand Pillar Temple, located in Hanamkonda, was built in 1163 AD by the Kakatiya King Rudra Deva, following the Chalukyan style of temple architecture.
The star shaped, triple-shrined temple - dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Surya - with its perforated stone screens, richly carved icons, meticulously designed pillars and rock cut elephants, stands testimony to the highly evolved brilliance of Kakatiya architecture.
The six feet high monolithic Nandi is another major lure of this temple, also known as 'Trikutalayam', because of the three shrines within.
Closer to the Thousand Pillar Temple is another famous temple of Bhadrakali, noted for its stone image of Goddess Kali depicted in a sitting posture.
Built by the Kakatiyas, during the reign of King Ganapati Deva in the 13th Century, the once impregnable fort combines geometrical intricacies and beautifully carved arches. The fort has 45 towers and pillars spread over a radius of 19 km, and a temple of Mother Earth called 'Swayambhudevi Alayam' in the middle.
The famous 'Ekasshila', a beautifully carved gateway located within the fort, symbolises the Kakatiya empire and Warangal even till date like Charminar does for Hyderabad.
Khush Mahal: A mute testimony to a glorious past is the Khush Mahal, a masterpiece built by Shitabh Khan. Located close to the Warangal Fort, this magnificent edifice houses idols excavated in the surrounding areas.
The Ramalingeswara temple, popularly known as Ramappa temple, is situated in Palampet village, 70 km from Warangal. In architectural beauty it is second only to the temples of Belur and Halebid of the Hoyasala empire in Karnataka.
The construction of the temple dates back to 1213 AD. An inscription at the temple reads that it was built on behalf of Ganapati Deva, by his commander in chief, Rudra Senani. Originally there were three temples Kateswara, Kameswara and Rudreswara. Of these only the Rudreswara is intact, while the other two lie in ruins.
The Shiva temple rises magnificently over a six feet high star-shaped platform. The intricate sculpture, richly carved pillars and the exquisitely chiselled walls and ceiling make a visit to Ramappa Temple an unforgettable experience.
The Kakatiya rulers followed the tradition of constructing a tank adjacent to a temple. In line with this tradition, the Ramappa Lake was also constructed adjoining the temple. The lake holds a great scenic beauty, with its serene surroundings, giving a mystical air to the temple.
A trip to Warangal is not complete without a sojourn at the charming Pakhal Lake. Moonlit nights on the shores of this lake are simply heavenly. Situated about 50 km from Warangal, this huge manmade lake is enveloped by forested hills.
The lake was excavated during the reign of Ganapati Deva. Set around the lake is the Pakhal Wildlife Sanctury spread over an area of 900 sq.km. The sanctuary is home to the Tiger, Leopard, Panther and Sambhar. Besides a large number of migratory birds arrive in winter at the lake, making it the best season to visit the sanctuary.
Located on the Warangal Hyderabad road (80 km from Hyderabad and 50 km from Warangal), Kolanupaka is an enlivening fusion of history and religion. It was the 11th century capital of Kalyani Chulukyas and the birthplace of Renukacharya, a great Veera Shaiva Saint. However, Kolanupaka is famous as a great pilgrim centre for Jains.
Kolanupaka has a number of ancient temples, some of them even 2000 years old, of great importance to Jains. A five ft. jade idol of Lord Mahavira is an added attraction. The Jain temple is architecturally brilliant and endowed with beautifully carved statues of Tirthankaras.
The State Archaeological Department runs a museum in the Someswara temple complex with a wide range of exhibits relating to temple architecture.
About 80 km from Warangal, the Eturunagaram Sanctuary, situated along the banks of River Godavari, is home to the Spotted Deer, Blackbuck, Neelgai, Sloth Bear, Panther and Tiger. The sylvan environs of the sanctuary, with forests interspersed with low hills, offer a nice holiday. Cottages maintained by the Department of Forests at Eturunagaram and nearby Tadvai provide comfortable accommodation.
The best season to visit Eturunagaram is between October and May.
The Kakatiya extensively used sheet metal art to decorate chariots and temples. With the fall of the Kakatiya empire the art had a slow death.
But it was revived during the reign of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Pembarti, located 60 km from Warangal, is famous for the sheet metal art. For the lovers of arts and crafts the town is worth a visit.
Cherial village in Warangal district is home to the famous Cherial scroll painting. The paintings are done in earth colours, depicting mythological stories. They have found great popularity as wall decorations.
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