Started here: Hyderabad
Brief Information about the Place:
Warangal also called as Ekasila Nagaram was the capital of Kakatiya Dynasty, who ruled during 12th and 14th Century. It was earlier called as “Orugallu” wherein Oru means One and Kallu means Stone. The entire city was carved in a single rock, hence the name.
It is easily accessible via Hyderabad through Trains. Takes three hours of Journey on one side. The trains arrive arrive either at Warangal Railway Station or Kazipet Railway station. Once you arrive at the Station, there are share autos available. Also, one can take the local Bus to Warangal main town or Hanamkonda (Major) Bus Stand. There are some important historical structures located here, worth visiting. I had been here twice, and maybe might visit again.
Our Trip, in continuation from Hyderabad was as follows:
We got the early morning 6.25 am express from Hyderabad Deccan Nampally Station to Kazipet Junction which was 11 kms away from Warangal. As soon as, we came out, we saw some share autos, asked one of them and he quoted Rs. 100. We decided to go by Local Government Bus, the Warangal Bus Stand was at 300 mtrs from Station. We boarded the bus (Rs. 10/-) and got down at Hanuman Chowrasta.
Initially, we had planned to take a bus to visit Ramappa temple also known as Ramalingeswara temple, which was 77 kms away from Warangal, located in Palampet Village, hence asked an auto driver to drop us to bus stand. We changed mind of boarding the Bus to Ramappa, after remembering the harrowing slow driving experience of Kurnool. We bargained with the same auto driver, who agreed to take us to & fro from Ramappa Temple and remaining sightseeing of Warangal by 4.00 pm for Rs. 1200.
Way to Ramappa Temple was straight state road, so boring, that we kept dozing off one by one and almost 2.5 hrs hours passed. We were hungry, because in quest of reaching the Ramappa Temple on time, we forgot to have breakfast at Warangal. There were few shacks selling biscuits and tea outside Ramappa Temple.
We ate snacks and continued to explore Ramappa temple. As per references, this is the only temple to be named after the Architect of Temple. Natural calamities have left their mark on the temple. It has survived the earthquake, one can see the up-down disturbed flooring of this temple.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Siva Ramalingeswara Swamy built in 1213 AD during Kakatiya Reign by the King Ganapati Deva. Temple is built on 6 feet high Platform, consisting of Maha mandapan, Antarala & Garbagriha. There is a Nandi Mandapam facing the main temple with huge beautifully sculpted and decorated Nandi.
The Pillars & Ceiling showcases carvings, depicting scenes from Hindu Epics like Ramayana, Shiva Purana and various other ancient texts. There is a Kameswara & Koteswara temple as subsidiary temples in the Complex. Kameswara Temple is in Ruins. It is said that the Bricks used for constructing the temple are light weight and float in water, still the temple withstood the test of time.
After spending an hour going through its intricate carvings, we left Ramappa Temple at noon to reach Warangal by 3.00 pm.
We first covered the Thousand Pillar Temple, which was settled amidst the Hanamkonda town. (The Thousand Pillar Temple of Warangal is built in the form of a star with one thousand ornately carved pillars, and reflects the splendour of the Chalukya kings. Built in a typical Chalukyan style of architecture by King Rudra Deva in 1163 A.D., the temple constitutes of three concentric shrines, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya – Sourced from Web).
Spent 30 minutes, pondering at the marvel of Thousand pillars, some part of the monument was under renovation by ASI, it was blocked by barricade.
We wrapped up the visit to go further for Bhadrakali Temple, located next to Bhadrakali Lake. It was located away from town, one of the oldest temple for Goddess Bhadrakali, built by King Pulakeshin II of the Chalukya Dynasty. This temple has a beautiful stone image of Goddess Bhadrakali with eight arms carrying weapon, sitting on her Vahaan, a lion. The surrounding is very peaceful and worth visit.
We decided to wrap up the Warangal trip by visiting the fort. We actually dashed off to see it, before finally biding adieu to Warangal. It turned out to be more of a picnic spot. At present, Warangal Fort or Kakatiya Fort is nothing more than Gates, pillars, inscribed stones, that were placed actually scattered to emphasize the presence of fort. Four entrance gates and bit of pillars and artifacts here and there.
We dashed back to Warangal Station goofing up the timing of train, which was from Kazipet Station. Again took an auto to Kazipet Station for Rs. 100/- and caught the express which had overcrowded general compartment, managed to survive the odd three hours, regaled the other wide eyed passengers (who wondered how three girls traveled so far from home) with our chronicles, inspired few of them to travel and finally we reached Hyderabad by 8.30 pm.
Further trip to Lepakshi….
P.S. My second visit to Warangal, with more details about Ramappa & Ghanpur Group of Temples, which I had missed in my this first trip.