Draped in history, myths and legends, Warangal stands as the second largest city in the State of Telangana. Located about 157 km from Hyderabad, Warangal is known for its beautiful lakes, impressive temples and rich flora and fauna. Warangal is among the 12 heritage cities in the country chosen for holistic development by the Government of India.
Glimpse of the Past
Warangal was the capital of Kakatiya dynasty from 12th to the 14th centuries and hence sports an illustrious paradigm of their art and architecture. Warangal, also known as Orugallu (One Stone), was carved out of a single rock. The city touched its cultural high under the patronage of the Kakatiyas and this period saw flourishing of culture, art, literature, music, dance and culinary skills.
Places Where History Rests
Thousand Pillar Temple
Located in Hanamakonda, Thousand Pillar Temple has achieved heights in terms of architectural splendour during the Kakatiya Rule. The temple has three shrines, which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. Intricate stonework, perforated screens, gorgeous sculptures along with rock cut elephants worthy of that spellbound visit.
Another tourist attraction in Warangal that is worth visiting is the Warangal Fort. Built on a hillock Ekashila in 13th century, this fort is one of the architectural masterpieces of Kakatiya Dynasty. The fort comprises of 45 towers, magnanimous entry and a quaint temple dedicated to Swayambhudevi, Mother Earth. Although currently in ruins, the sculptures, stonework and overall architecture stands as testimony to the breathtaking craftsmanship of the bygone days.
Indian culture is deeply rooted in spirituality which led to the construction of shrines and temples by rulers. Known to be one of the oldest temples dedicated to the worship of Kali Matha or Bhadrakali Ammavaru, the mother goddess, the Bhadrakali Temple is located against a picturesque setting on the banks of the Bhadrakali Lake. Chalukya King Pulekesi II built this temple in 625AD and the deity and temple features bear the Chalukya stamp. The temple is also famous for the Dhawaja Sthambham and the Balipeetham that are located within its premises. The Bhadrakali temple is flooded with devotees between the months of August –September which corresponds to the Telugu month of Sravana and is considered to be the most auspicious time for paying respects.
Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary
If you want to explore one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries of Telangana, then you just can’t miss the Eturunagaram Wildlife Sanctuary. The Eturunagaram Sanctuary was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1953 by the former Hyderabad Government, thanks to its rich bio-diversity. The plethora of water in the sanctuary attributes to the presence of reptiles like the famous Mugger crocodiles and snakes like the Cobra, Python and Krait. Best season to visit the sanctuary is from October to April.
This man-made lake is that ideal haven for nature enthusiasts as well as serene picnic spot for families. Kakatiya King Ganapati Deva built this lake in 1213 AD as a source of water for irrigation purpose. Apart from the picturesque setting, Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary is an added attraction. The wildlife freaks get to spot likes of Leopard, wild boar, panthers, hyenas, sloth bear, chital, mountain gazelle, or blackbuck.
Bheemuni Padam Waterfall
Bheemuni Padam Waterfall is that hidden gem in the dense forest without proper road connectivity yet surrounded by surreal beauty. Legend goes that the Pandava Bheemasena once set foot here to make way for water to to save Papanachamma, a Yadava deity, after a local ruler, Muni Rajulm set her house on fire. Hence the name Bheemuni Padam. An out of the world sight is created when the shining sun’s reflections fall on the water and create a rainbow.
Kakatiya Rock Garden
Located close to the fort temple, Kaktiya Rock Garden houses marvellous garden along with playground for children. This garden encloses marvellous structures in rocks which are lively, like the statues of deer, lion, giraffe, sambar, antelopes etc.
Other Honorable Mentions:
a. Ramappa b. Laknavaram c. Pandavulagutta,
d. Vanavigyan e. Science Centre f. Bogatha waterfall
Pleasant Stay Options
Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) offers luxurious, comfortable and world-class accommodation with its Haritha chain of hotels and resorts all over the state and Haritha Kaktiya happens to be preferred choice. While the interiors reflect Kakatiyan Dynasty, the facilities offered are contemporary. Accomodation remains neat and compact.
Where: Near, Main Road, Adalath Circle, Nakkala Gutta, Hanamkonda, Telangana
Call: 98480 36622
Hotel Suprabha is an intimate boutique 3star property around Warrangal. Comfortable rooms along with contemporary facilities make up for pleasant stay. The restaurant features a selection of themed tasting experiences, all served with optional wine pairing. The coffee shop comes with a relaxed ambiance. This hotel is situated in busy market, you can hop over for quick shopping or to taste some authentic food.
Where: Nakkalagutta, NH163, Balasamudram, Hanamkonda, Telangana
Call: 83770 04514
This well-furnished hotel is located in main junction of the Warangal city which very nearer to the bus complex and Railway Stations. Personalised stay with comforting amenities welcomes you. Accommodation is spread across Deluxe, Luxury, The South Indian Restaurant, Athidi Spices keep your stay delectable. Useful amenities include the laundry & concierge services as well as tours/ticket assistance.
Where: 6-2-6/1/2/3 Kakaji Nagar Colony Hanamkonda Telangana
Call: 73375 09992
Oyo 3420 Hotel Ashoka
Oyo 3420 Hotel Ashoka is one of the popular choices for stay in Warrangal due to its proximity to Bhadrakali temple and Zoological park which are major attractions. This 4-storey hotel on the main Hanamkonda road offers decent budget accommodation with contemporary amenities. The hotel has a very nice restaurant with good ambiance and great non-vegetarian fare. Other useful facilities include gymnasium, bar, conference room and a banquet hall.
Where: 6-1-242, Main Road, Hanamkonda, Warangal
Call: 83770 04514
The Culture Streak
Once the capital of the Kakatiya kingdom, the architectural heritage of Warangal has always been a source of inspiration. Now it promises to hold greater attraction with this ancient city being chosen by the Government of India for development under the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY). Warangal is among the 12 heritage cities in the country chosen for holistic development under the HRIDAY pilot project at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 crore.
Warangal boasts of varied culturals festivals with that distinct local flavor. Sammaka Saralamma Jatara, the tribal festival, Bhatukumma, the floral festival celebrated by women and Bonalu dedicated to Goddess Mahankali are few of the outstanding occassions in the city. Besides, there are dance forms such as Perini Siva Tandavam, Bonalu dance, Burrakatha add to the heritage storehouse.
Warangal continues the legacy of rich craftsmanship. Traditional crafts like brassware, wood carvings, stone carvings and Nakashi art can be traced in all its aura.