It’s been a long time for us to spend some time in peace away from the hustling-bustling city life. So, we planned a weekend getaway to Warangal to refresh ourselves. Warangal the former capital of Kakatiyas is around 140kms away from Hyderabad. We are already behind of our schedule, Our main plan was to visit Pakhal lake for sunrise but unfortunately we missed it. So we thought of checking out the Ancient Warangal fort first.
Warangal Fort, now in ruins, was once an impregnable fort in the state. This is reputed for its architectural magnificence besides its history. The fort Warangal is built with Geometric intricacies during the reign of Ganapati Deva, in 1199 AD and was completed by his daughter Rani Rudramadevi in 1261 AD. The Warangal Fort displays a rare and exquisite Thoranam Architectural style. There are Thoranam Arches and the pillars are spread across an area of about 19 kilometers between Hanamkonda and Warangal.
This fort has stood witness to many wars and revolts almost throughout its life as well the history associated with it. The special feature distinguishing the four enormous pillars of the gateway is that they have been cut from a single rock. Three protective layers ensure the protection of what was once the inner precincts and center of power.
Part of the ruins consist of delicate sculpture and stone work, motifs and designs delineating animals like lions and swans. Inside the fort area are the residues of temples razed to the ground by the early Qutub Shahi kings. The place is full of riches and resources from the past.
The Kakatiya period was rightly called the brightest period of the Telugu history. The entire Telugu speaking area was under the kings who spoke Telugu and encouraged Telugu. They established order throughout the strife torn land and the forts built by them played a dominant role in the defence of the realm.
At the centre of Warangal Fort is an archaeological zone containing an enclosure with the excavated ruins of a Siva Temple, demolished probably by invading armies from Delhi. These fragments, arranged in a large field, are from granite pillars, ceilings, and brackets, part of what must have been a monumental temple and sub-shrines. Seen here are multisection mandapa pillars and a sanctuary entrance frame with intricately carved capital and Siva dvarpalaka.
To the right of the reconstructed linga shrine, another set of unearthed fragments are formally arranged as a Ganesa temple. To its right is an immense but broken ceiling panel containing a krittimukha framed by dense foliage and creeper circles.
Unearthed blocks have been arranged to represent the layout of the original temple. At the west of the enclosure is this Linga shrine guarded by slabs with dvarpalakas carved in relief. They wear conical headgear, hold the trishul, damaru or sarpa and are flanked by diminutive attendants. The shrine is sheltered by a block that has a panel of thick creeper circles containing hamsa and other animals, held up by large mandapa columns.
Swayambhu temple: A self incarnated Shiva temple
There’s a small temple adjacent to Warangal fort called Swayambhu temple which has a Shiva linga inside it. It says that the Shiva linga has emerged itself from the ground and it is said that this is 850 years old temple.
This structure is said to be built over the site of a Kakatiya palace. May have been used as an audience hall by Shitab Khan, the 16th century Qutb Shahi governor of Warangal.
Check my other blog where I’ve uploaded HQ pictures..