Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day Trip to Warangal - Warangal Fort

The Kakatiyas ruled from Warangal or Orugallu as it was called then from 1083 to 1323 CE. They were Telugu rulers and ruled over a large tract of land which included the Golconda area.
The outer granite wall
The Warangal fort was their bastion and they moved here from the neighbouring Hanumakonda which was their capital earlier. The Warangal fort is rather odd as it is built on flat land and not on a hill top or water body as most other forts are.
One of the four famous Kakatiya thoranams
Ruins of the trikutalaya temple site with the four thoranams on each side
But it has three walls apparently - the first one of mud and then of granite, walls of 9 kms and 4 kms circumference, a large swayambhu trikutalaya (temples of Shiva, Surya and Vishnu existed) temple with the impressive architecture in granite and basalt with its famous thoranams, the solid Khush Mahal or Sitab Khan Mahal, an old Shiva temple which are all still there.
Anjali getting some shade under an exquisite 13 the century  sculpture
Check out the detail on granite
No trace exists of the palaces of the Kakatiya rulers.
Shobhs and Anjali are framed
The detail on the chains on the elephant is astounding
Credit is given to the Kakatiyas for bringing the Telugu speaking region together. From Rudra Deva (1158-1195) who transformed a small principality into a large kingdom and constructed the 1000 pillar temple, to Ganapati Deva his nephew who was captured and imprisoned and later became the king of the Kakatiya empire and constructed both Golconda fort and the Ramappa temple, to Rudrama Devi (1262-1289) who was an able administrator and warrior, to Pratap Rudra who extended the kingdom till Raichur until his capture and apparent suicide while being taken to Delhi by the Tughluq army.
Anjali with one of the thoranams behind her
The ruins which have been restored partly by the Archaeological Society of India
For a 13th century fort the architecture is amazing. The work on the granite and basalt is stunning. The four thoranams that stand at the site of the trikutalaya and the other pieces that are left behind show ample proof of the Kakatiya architecture and expertise. The Nandi is another great piece of work as are the elephants.

One of the fort's outer walls, solid as ever
Shiva temple
Nandi and an old 13th century building behind it, seemingly occupied
Another Nandi at the temple

The Ekasila (monolith) rock with old 13th century structures on it from the Khush Mahal

In fact, even the well preserved Khush Mahal shows how solid the royal architecture was so long ago.
The well preserved Khush Mahal
Entrance to the Khush Mahal a.ka. Sitab Khan Mahal
Inside the Khush Mahal

Called also the Sitab Khan Mahal after a Hindu governor of the Bahmani kings, Sitapaty, the Khush Mahal is also believed to have been constructed over the original Kakatiya palace. A visit to the Warangal fort takes up a  good two hours. Better if you have your own conveyance so you can explore a bit. Carry water, caps and shades. Well worth the trouble.

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