The cultural capital of the state of Telangana, the city of Warangal boasts a history that dates back to the ruling dynasties of the 3rd century. A kingdom of kings and queens, the civilization served as the capital of the mighty Kakatiya Dynasty. Historically, it was also known as Oruguallu, Omtikonda, and Ekasilanagaram and is recognized as the fifth largest city of the state today. Warangal is replete with exquisite architectural wonders, religious sites, and a scenic natural landscape, making the place an all-rounded destination for a quick weekend getaway.
How to reach
The city of Warangal is about 150 Km from the Hyderabad metro and takes less than three and a half hours to reach. You can avail a Hyderabad cab, which will travel outstation for a reasonable fare.
Of ruins and relics
Warangal gained recognition as a historic site with relics of ancient forts, palaces, and monuments which speak of the city’s glorious past. Though majorly in ruins, these traces of the bygone are still untouched by the modern civilization which adds to the beauty of the place.
The most significant landmark of Telangana, the Warangal Fort is a classic example of architectural excellence and historic legacy. Built under the patronage of the famous Kakatiya kings, this 12th-century fort is known for its four ornamental gates, which has been adopted by the state government as their official emblem. The four pillars, also called the ‘Kakatiya Kala Thoranam’ served as the entrance to the Shiva temple on its premise. Popular for its grand artistry on granite and slate, the fort and its relics attract tourists from all over to explore this marvelous structure which once used to be one of the most invincible enclaves built in the medieval era.
The Thousand-Pillar Temple
An ancient temple nestled in the small town of Hanamkonda, the Thousand Pillar Temple has more architectural and historic significance that religious one. Apt to its name, the temple actually has a 1000 pillars, lined adjacent to each other, forming a wall. The temple construction resembles elements of both the Kakatiya and Chalukyan architecture and is shaped in a star-like structure. There are three presiding deities- of Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya (sun god) which collectively form the Trikootalayam.
Kakatiya Rock Garden
An extension of the fort including some relics, has been transformed into a public garden. The tended and manicured garden has a display of flowering plants and beautifully carved rock figures of deer, lions, giraffes, antelopes, and other animals.
Apart from its history, the city of Warangal is also popular for its scenic natural landscape and would be alluring to any nature lover. In case you are planning to stay longer than a day, you can also look at a Hyderabad car rental service for a more convenient journey.
About 50 Km outside the city, you will find the blue and serene water body of the Pakhal Lake. The lake area spreads over 30 square km and is surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, rendering a picture-perfect vista. Apparently, this is a man-made lake built in the 1213AD, at the times of the Kakatiya rulers by King Ganapati Deva. The lake has an adjoining wildlife sanctuary built in 1952, which housed various wild animals, birds, and exotic plants.
Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the oldest wildlife refuges, the Eturnagaram Sanctuary is rich in biodiversity. It sits on both sides of the Dayyum Vagu River, at about 110 Km outside Warangal city. Wrapped in thick natural vegetation, the reserve offers respite for the urban crowd. The sanctuary spreads across 806 square Km and is dotted with historic caves, sloping hills, natural springs, and streams and is home to rare wild animals like the spotted deer, Indian wolf, panther, black buck deer, giant squirrels, sloth bear, four-horned antelopes, and Nilgai.
A place so rich in natural bounty and ancient wonders, Warangal promises a fulfilling holiday for all- a history buff, a nature lover, or a traveler seeking tranquility.