Warangal ( Andhra Pradesh , South India)
Warangal region is full of great lakes and historical monuments. As such, it is an interesting place for the pilgrims, historians, archaeologists and nature lovers. The rulers of Warangal belonged to the Kakatiya dynasty, derived from the word Kukati which is the local name for Durga. The Kakatiyas were great builders of monuments in Chalukyan style. There are many interesting places in this region.
Hanumakonda: This is the same town as Warangal newly developed township outside the fort area. The place has become famous for the ancient temple popularly called as the Thousand Pillar Temple. The most exquisite example of architecture of the Kakatiya reign, attracting several visitors, both foreign and Indian, was founded by Ganapathi. It is star shaped and a triple shrine the three shrines being dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. With no deities in the shrines at present, the pedestals inside are fitted with black basalt Lingams only. The temple is renowned for the richly carved pillars and lintels, the delicately pierced screens and most carefully finished sculptures. The black basalt Nandi in front of the temple is a splendid specimen of sculpture in monolith. Constructed in 1164, the unfinished Kalyana Mandapa behind the Nandi has numerous pillars with carvings of flowers, creepers and animals which give its name on account of the many pillars.
The old fort, occupying a place of eminence has two walls surrounded by a moat. The outer wall has two entrances called Bandavi Darwaza and Hyderabad Darwaza, while the other wall which is constructed of immense boulders has four imposing gates.
Inside the fort can be seen some beautiful granite pillars some of them 10 metres high, containing superb sculpture. There are shrines dedicated to Narasimha, Padmakshi and Govindaraja.
Kazipet: The name is derived from a domed tomb built by a Kazi in the early part of the 19th century. There are three ancient temples on the summit of a hillock, containing interesting specimens of early Hindu carvings. Nearby is Mudikonda where two temples are located dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. Both are in Dravidian style of architecture with pyramidal towers or spires.
Laknavaram Lake: A huge reservoir created by shutting up the three narrow valleys with short bunds. Set in such natural surroundings, it looks more like a natural pond than man-made tank. The forests around abound in many animals which can be seen with the permission of the forest department.
Pakhal Lake: A beautiful lake, enclosed by dense wooded hills on three sides and a bund on the other across a river cutting its way over an outcrop of the Vindhya mountains. The lake abounds in fish and alligators. A forest rest house is available only for emergent use.
Ramappa Temple: Situated near the village Palampet, Ramappa temple was built in the 13th century. This temple has been described as the brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan. The temple is similar in style, design and workmanship to the Thousand Pillar Temple at Hanumakonda, but it is more ornamental. The pillars and ceilings are decorated with scene from Ramayana and Mahabharata depicted in sculpture. Long panels of figures of gods, goddesses, warriors, musicians and dancing girls decorate the outer walls. Large figures of dancing girls in various attitudes have been utilized as brackets springing from pillars and supporting overhanging eves. All these figures are carved in black basalt with fine polish; their fine anatomy, vigour and rhythm of the dance poses make them extremely beautiful.
How to reach Warangal:
Warangal is connected by train as well as by an excellent road. Non-stop luxury buses operate from Hyderabad at regular intervals. Very good lodging places are available at Hanumakonda. State buses and private vans operate to all the places of interest. Taxis can also be hired to visit the places around.