Ramappa Temple

Ramappa Temple The city of Warangal is 157 km from Hyderabad. It was the ancient capital city of the Kakatiya kingdom. Warangal means "history". Its massive fortress has withstood continuous attacks from the Delhi Sultans in the 13th and 14th centuries AD. In the 19th century AD, it was the hunting ground of the nobles. It is noted for its beautiful lakes, magnificent temples, mud-brick forts and wildlife sanctuaries. Warangal today is an important tourist destination.

Palampet is located at a distance of 77 km from Warangal, the ancient capital of the Kakatiyas. It is home to brilliant Kakatiya art as seen in the Ramappa temple. The Ramappa temple is near the ancient engineering marvel of the 13th century AD Ramappa tank. The ancient Ramappa tank can be dated back to the period of Kakatiyas. It is a well-conceived tank where a 2000 ft long earthen dam connects a semi circular chain of hills to form a lake.

The Ramalingeswara Temple is popularly known as the Ramappa temple because the chief sculptor was Ramappa. It is probably the only temple in India to be known by the name of the sculptor who builds it. It was built under the patronage of the King Kakati Ganapathi Deva by his Chief Commander Rudra Samani at Ranakude in the province of Atukuru. The temple has been described as the "brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples in the Deccan". The temple is approached thorough a royal garden, now just a lawn with tree lined path. The temple is situated in a valley and is built with bricks so light that they can float on water. Yet the temple is so strong that it is still intact after numerous wars, invasions and natural calamities.

The Ramappa temple stands on a 6 ft high platform on a cruciform plan. The sanctum is crowned with a shikhara and is surrounded by a pradakshinapatha. Rich and intricate carvings adorn the walls, pillars and ceilings of this wonderful building. The hall in front of the sanctum has numerous beautifully carved pillars that have been placed to create an effect that combines light and space wonderfully. There are many votive shrines within the temple. There are two subsidiary shrines on either side of the main temple, which are in a good condition.

The entire temple complex is enclosed with a compound wall. At the entrance to the temple is a ruined Nandi mandapam, with an imposing 9 ft high Nandi, which is still intact. The Shivalingam in the sanctum also rises to a height of 9 ft. The east-facing sanctum is surrounded with pilasters crowned with Dravidian and Nagara shikharas in an alternating fashion. There is an additional entrance from the north also leading to the Navaranga mandapam in front of the sanctum. The ceiling is divided into compartments by columns from the bottom and is carved with intricate patterns. There is a richness of carvings in this temple on dark rock with a smooth finish, portraying an amazing range of themes from the Puranas and various Indian mythological stories.Ramappa Temple

The temple signifies many facets of Shiva, his royal residence, the Himalaya Mountains and his inhabiting a sacred space beyond the mortal realm. The temple is built upon the classical pattern of being first raised upon a platform that separates its sacred functions from the taint of the everyday. This 'sacred mountain' mindset was characteristic of the temple builders in all the cultures. It represented a powerful symbolic representation of a perfect building, an intersection in midair of the spheres of heaven and earth. The platform lifts it above the normal, transcends the profane, declaring with uncompromising firmness that it is a place for un-common activities dedicated to a god.

Maha Shiva Ratri is celebrated for a period of three days in this temple Many of the smaller structures are neglected and are in ruins in the Ramappa temple. There were even instances of people carrying away the bricks, to be proudly exhibited that they can float on water, before the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) took charge of it. The main entrance gate in the outer wall of the temple is ruined, so one can enter only through a small west gate.

Thousand Pillars Temple

Thousand pillars temple is located in Hanamkonda part of the Warangal City. It was constructed in the 1163 AD by Rudra Deva. It depicts typical Chalukyan style of architecture. The three presiding deities are Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya.
It is one of the finest specimens of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture.

Thousand Pillar TempleIf you want to know more about the richness of the heritage of India, make sure to visit the famous Thousand Pillar Temple – Hanamkonda. Located in Hanamkonda part of the Warangal City, Thousand Pillar Temple is a popular pilgrimage center, where thousands of devotees of all faith come here to pay their homage. The temple has an old and long history and dates back to the Chalukyan era.

Constructed in the 1163 AD by Rudra Deva, Thousand Pillar Temple in Hanamkonda is one of the finest specimens of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture. The temple depicts the typical Chalukyan style of architecture. The temple has three shrines, which are dedicated to three deities. The three presiding deities are Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. Thousand Pillar Temple – Hanamkonda is really a true architectural splendor.

The temple is a star shaped architecture, which is an example of the expertise of the craftsmen of the period. The temple is supported by the richly carved out pillars. The screens and the beautiful sculptures which adorn the walls of the temple add to the magnificence of the structure. You can also find a huge monolith Nandi, which is made up of black basalt. It has a wonderful polished finish, which adds to its grandeur.

The temple stands on a platform of 1 meter, which slopes towards the Hanumakonda hill. The garden surrounding the temple is simply beautiful. Small lingam shrines adorn the garden. The garden is well maintained and has serenity around it. The chirping of the birds mingled with the ringing of the temple bells creates an aura around the Thousand Pillar Temple – Hanamkonda. Counted as one of the principal monuments in India, this temple is the biggest draw at Hanamkonda.

You can reach Thousand Pillar Temple – Warangal very easily. It is connected by almost all modes of transport. The airport at Hyderabad is the nearest airport to this temple. You can access the Warangal railway station to reach to this city from other parts of the country. Regular buses ply on the roads from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Karimnagar, Khammam and other districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Bhadrakali Temple

Bhadrakali Temple at Hanamkonda is significant Devi temple located on the hilltop between the twin cities of Hanamkonda and Warangal in Andhra Pradesh. The temple is held in high esteem by devotees of the of Goddess Bhadrakali popularly called the ‘Grant Mother Goddess’. Remarkable feature of the temple is the square shaped stone image of the Goddess (2.7 X 2.7 meters). In the image goddess is seen in a sitting posture with fierce looking eyes and face. The Goddess can also be seen wearing a crown and having eight hands holding various weapons.

Major Attractions of Bhadrakali Temple
High point of Bhadrakali Temple is an artificial lake of 2 ½ kms radius in the vicinity of the temple. Number of natural rock formations in the surroundings add to the spiritual charm of the temple and are the most dominant feature of the temple. Some of the unique shaped rocks are said to carry immense spiritual powers. The structure of the temple is said to be 250 years old. Though the image of the deity is called the Bhadrakali, the goddess is said to have been transformed by the mantras into a very rare form called the Tripura Sundari, which includes the Kali form. Tripura Sundari is regarded as the supreme manifestation of Prakriti - the feminine power which is the vital energy of the universe. Literal meaning of Tripura Sundari is 'The Beauty of the Three Worlds' or more precisely the three Cites or 'Pura'.

Best Time to Visit Bhadrakali Temple
The best time to visit the famous Bhadrakali Temple in Warangal is the Telegu month of ‘Sravana’ which corresponds to the month of August - September according to Gregorian Calendar. At this time a festival is organised and the deity is aesthetically decorated in various forms. Housing about 8 major and 12 minor temples surrounding mountains of Bhadrakali Temple exude a sacred aura when a large number of devotees gather to offer prayers.

People who visit Bhadrakali Temple also visit Hanamkonda Fort which is just a kilometer away from the another well known thousand pillared Hanamkonda Temple. Inside the fort is the Siddeshwara Temple housing a small Linga shrine.

Laknavaram Lake

Laknavaram cheruvu which is spread over an area of 10000 acres and stores rain water. This lake has 13 islands which are scattered amidst the lush green jungles and make the place blissfully serene. The tourist department has constructed a hanging bridge connecting the 3 islands recently. This has turned the place into a major tourist destination in this area. The government has a lot of ambitious plans to convert this into a full scale tourist destination.