Telangana is a state in southern India. In the capital of Hyderabad, the Charminar is a 16th-century mosque with 4 arches supporting 4 towering minarets. The monument overlooks the city’s long-running Laad Bazaar. Once the seat of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, the sprawling Golconda Fort is a former diamond-trading center. In the city of Warangal, the centuries-old Warangal Fort features carved stone towers and gateways.
The most interesting spots to visit in the newly created state of Telangana, outside its capital Hyderabad, lie in and around the state’s second city, Warangal.
The stunning Ramappa Temple, about 70km north-east of Warangal, was built in the early 13th century and is the outstanding gem of Kakatiya architecture. Constructed of sandstone and basalt, the temple rests on a base plinth in the shape of a star. Its pillars are ornately carved and its eaves shelter fine statues of female forms. It’s urgently in need of restoration and stabilization, with its wonky walls precariously upright. Local guides charge around ₹250 for an informative tour.
Warangal’s fort, on the southern edge of town, was a massive construction with three circles of walls (the outermost 7km in circumference). Most of it is now either fields or buildings, but at the center is a huge, partly reassembled Shaivite Svayambhu Temple, with handsome, large torana (architrave) gateways at its cardinal points. An autorickshaw from Warangal station costs around ₹300 return.
The 1000-Pillared Temple, constructed in the 12th century, is in a leafy setting and is a fine example of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture. Unusually, the cross-shaped building has shrines to the sun god Surya (to the right as you enter), Vishnu (center) and Shiva (left). Despite the name, it certainly does not have 1000 pillars. Behind rises Hanumakonda Hill, site of the original Kakatiya capital.
At the center of Warangal fort are the partly reassembled remains of this huge Shaivite temple, with four handsome, large torana gateways standing at its cardinal points. There’s a sound-and-light show in the evening (English at 7.30pm). The ticket also covers the Kush Mahal (Shitab Khan Mahal), a 16th-century royal hall 400m west.
The temple for Lord Rama was built by a devotee called Kancherla Gopanna popularly known as Bhakta Ramadasu in the 17th century. Gopanna was the Tasildar of Bhadrachalam and constructed the temple using public donations. But the Golconda Sultans were misled and felt that Gopanna had misused the government funds to build the temple. He was imprisoned in a dungeon at Golconda Fort. Lord Rama is said to have miraculously appeared before the Sultan and paid the money spent by Gopanna, after which he was released. Gopanna then became Bhadrachala Ramadasu and went on composing several songs in Telugu in praise of Rama. Kabirdas, the famous Muslim saint, and poet, was also closely associated with this temple.
Situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra close to the place where the mighty rivers of Krishna and Tungabhadra merge, Alampur has rich historical and pilgrimage importance. Several dynasties ruled this place including Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Bahamani sultans, Vijayanagara kings and finally falling under Hyderabad. As per history of this place, Lord Brahma, after losing his powers due to a curse of a saint, performed penance for Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared in nine different forms, thus nine different temples to celebrate each form. The shivalinga in the main temple of Bala Brahma temple is seen in the form of a footprint of a bull. Jogulamba Temple is very ancient and one of 18 Maha Shakti Peethas of Goddess Shakti. This temple is 5th Shakti Peetha representing Upper teeth part of Goddess Shakti. The current temple of Jogulamba was built in 2005 as the original temple was destroyed. The idols of Goddess were places in Bala Brahmeswara temple for 6 centuries.