Warangal – a city that emerged from a rock.
When the artists’ hands chiseled away one mighty rock; a historical town was birthed. Named Orugallu, which means ‘one stone’; present-day Warangal still radiates the aura of the well-known Kakatiya Dynasty; quite famous by way of the era’s architecture. Thus, a Warangal Heritage Tour, is no less than a walk-through of a time when artists spent entire lifetimes dedicated to their craft – even if it was for just one temple or a fort. To see the heritage monuments and temples of Warangal is to relive history wrapped in engineering and architecture marvels in a time when technology was non-existence.
There is no better time to walk amidst ruins and the still-standing heritage structures of Warangal than an upcoming long weekend or if you are looking for a budget trip from Telangana or Andhra Pradesh. Visiting Warangal is also educational and you can experience a piece of history with family or friends.
Warangal Fort – Ruins and Glory
When you walk through the Warangal Fort; the elaborate geometric structures of the complex can make it worth your while. This 13th century structure is now mostly in ruins. Within a 19-km radius; the fort houses a Shiva temple, four great entrances, and 45 massive towers or pillars which were once grandiose but now ominous – a drifting presence yet rooted where the stones were first placed. Four pillars, 30 feet in height, form the main entrance. These pillars contain beautiful carvings that require moments of introspection for a complete appreciation.
The fort itself is a great example of strong fortification; the very purpose of building these massive structures. It contains three robust layers of moat and walls and were constructed during the times of different rulers.
Traversing through ruins and intact structures of the Warangal Fort is nothing short of a quick lesson in history plus a pleasant trip down many ancient memories.
The fort is open for visitors from morning 10 to evening 7 and easily accessible via roads. It is also very near to the city’s main railway station. The timings may change; so, it is best to find out the current permissible time for visitors beforehand. Warangal Fort is one of the most important historical structures in Telangana.
Ramappa Temple – Chiseled Creativity
Also known as Kakatiya Rudreshwara or Ramalingeswara Temple, it is a massive structure ringing in notes of spirituality. Located in Palampet Village; it is a must-see if you are on a Warangal Heritage Tour. The temple is also notable as it is the arguably the only known temple to have its name after the main architect. It is by the Ramappa Lake, which was also built by the rulers.
In 2021; it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Carved in black basalt rock, it is a testimony to the creative extremity of the artists in those days of limited resources. It is not easy to carve into black basalt yet the artists made it work and made it shine. The intricate work on these stones showcases how precious and architecturally-important this temple is for the entire region. A number of figures in addition to motifs adorn one small section of one pillar alone!
In some parts of the fort; no mortar was used to assemble blocks. To come up with this technique during that era is a marvel in itself. Some bricks used in the construction were so light, you could float them on water.
This temple is outside of the town. So, you will need to travel some 65 km or more once you are in Warangal. It is open every day from early morning 6 to evening 6. But it is best to inquire about current timings when you are planning your visit.
Thousand Pillar Temple – Intricate Magnificence
Dedicated to three deities – Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya; the name of the temple points to the rows upon rows of pillars in the temple. These pillars contain delicate carvings and adorn the entire premises. It is also referred to as Rudreshwara Swamy Temple. Rock-cut structures are also prominent here.
This temple, located in Hanamkonda near Warangal, is a fine specimen of the Chalukya-era temple architecture. It is easily accessible via road and is open from morning to evening every day. You can confirm the current timings just before your visit. Warangal Heritage Tour is incomplete without a visit to the famous Thousand Pillar Temple.
Top Famous Places in Warangal –
- Warangal Fort
- Ramappa Temple
- Thousand Pillar Temple
- Pakhal Lake
- Bhadrakali Temple
- Kakatiya Rock Garden
- Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kakatiya Musical Garden
- Ramappa Lake
Warangal, which also features in famous explorer Marco Polo’s travelogue ‘Book of the Marvels of the World’; is testimony to what patronage to art can bring forth in the world. It is sad that some foreign dynasties that invaded India ravaged great works of architecture including some in Warangal; but the soul of these structures remains intact. The ruins still stand in town and offer a glimpse into the intricacies of the craft of those times. A Warangal Heritage Tour is every bit worth of your time if history, architecture, and culture enthrall you even one bit.
You can easily visit Warangal from Hyderabad. If you are a visitor to India; you can take flights to Hyderabad and then drive to Warangal. You can also travel there by train or take flights to any other major city in India and fly to Hyderabad. Reaching Warangal is easy form the city.
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