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Ghanpur Group of Temples – Telangana Beauty Etched on Stone

Kota Gullu or Ghanpur Group of Temples Warangal
Kota Gullu or Ghanpur Group of Temples – Image Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

Ghanpur Group of Temples – Kakatiyas Mark on Art and Architecture

Located in the Ghanpur Mandal at a distance of about 39 kms from Warangal, the Ghanpur Group of Temples are another spectacular piece of architecture belonging to the Kakatiyan era. They are more popularly known amongst the locals as Kota Gullu. The Ghanpur Temples bear a strong similarity to their more impressive contemporary the Ramappa Temple and therefore can be assumed to have also been built during the reign of King Ganapatideva of Kakatiya Dynasty

The Kota Gullu is a motley collection of 20-22 temples of varying shapes and sizes. The biggest and also the most famous of these is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. It can also easily be identified as being the main temple. This temple showcases a rich display of carvings on its walls, balconies and porches and highlights the architectural genius and superb workmanship of the Kakatiyan craftsmen.

Ghanpur Group of Temples Warangal
Ghanpur Group of Temples Warangal – Image Courtesy: rebelchandu.blogspot.com

Towards the north of the main temple there exists another smaller temple. Though in ruins, the temple still houses a red polished Shiva Lingam in its inner chamber. In addition to this, the main temple is circled by 19 smaller temples each with a Garbagriha and an Antarala.

Rock cut architecture has been raised to amazing levels on the walls, ceilings and gateways of these temples. Flowers and figures have been effortlessly carved out of solid granite rocks to create designs of absolute beauty. Stories from the Shiva Purana are also found engraved on beams above the door of the main temple. It is a treat to the eyes and should not be missed.

Recent excavations have also unearthed some equally fantastic sculptures. Notable amongst these are the ones of Shiva holding a snake (sarpa) in one hand and a damru (little hand drum) in the other hand; there is another one of Lord Vishnu holding the chakra (wheel) in one hand and the Gada (mace) in the other. These are not only of religious significance but also speak volumes for the expert craftsmanship of the medieval sculptors.

Carvings on Pillars at Ghanpur Group of Temples
Carvings on Pillars at Ghanpur Group of Temples- Image Courtesy: indhiya-suttrum-vaaliban.blogspot.in

The Ghanpur Group of Temples are enclosed within a double stone walled complex. The entire area houses several mandapams or central porches each of which is an excellent architectural exhibit. The Sabhamandapa Porches deserve special mention in this context. Also the Salabhanjikas positioned in the northern portico of the main temple complex is worth mentioning. The sculpture of mythical characters like Gaja Kesari (a half human half lion form riding on an elephant) that appear on a bracket in the main temple complex is truly a marvel in stone.

No work on stone has ever before assumed such grace and style as is displayed through the work on these temples. Having withstood the ravages of man and nature these temples still declare their supremacy over everything that has a claim to aesthetics and beauty in the world. Despite being carved out of solid rocks the figures and motifs have an amazing softness in them which is rarely seen anywhere else.

A visit to Warangal remains incomplete without a visit to this work of art. In addition to the religious aspect, the Ghanpur temples also represent beauty, style and grace. It is these factors that let the memories of this place remain etched in the mind long after one leaves it behind.

Main Temple of Ghanpur Group of Temples
Main Temple of Ghanpur Group of Temples – Image Courtesy: indhiya-suttrum-vaaliban.blogspot.in
Entrance to Garbhagriham at Ghanpur Group of Temples
Entrance to Garbhagriham at Ghanpur Group of Temples

Special Attractions:
– Salabhanjikas
– Sabhamandapa Porches

Nearby Attractions:
– Kazipet Railway Station – more than 100 year old
– Thousand Pillar Temple
– Ghanpur lake
– Pembarthi Brassware

Ghanpur Group of Temples Timings: Open on all days – Daily 6 AM to 6:00 PM

– 115 kms from MGBS Hyderabad
– 39 Kms from Warangal city
– 29 Kms from Jangoan Bus Stop

How to Reach Ghanpur Group of Temples:
– Warangal City is connected with good Train facility and bus facilities. Ghanpur is 39 Kms far from Warangal.
– There are many buses from Hyderabad to Hanamakonda which go via Ghanpur.
– Ghanpur is 31 Kms from Hanamkonda and there are plenty of buses from Hanamkkonda bus stop.
– Kazipet Railway Station is one of the major junctions which is very well connected with Hyderabad is 23 kms far from Ghanpur. There are many share autos available from Kazipet to Ghanpur.
– Nearest Airport is Hyderabad Airport

Where to Stay: One can stay at Hanamkonda city which is 29 kms from Ghanpur. Also there are some good hotels in Jangoan too which is also 29kms from Ghanpur.
There are plenty of good hotels in Warangal are:
– Ashoka Hotel – Ph: 0870-2577955, 2578491
– City Grand – Ph: 0870-2454587
– Landmark HOtel – 0870-254633
– Suprabha Hotel – Ph: 0870-2573888, 2574888
– Ratna Hotel – Ph:0870-2500645

Contact Numbers:
Warangal Tourism Office Contact Number: 0870-2459201
State Tourism Department – 040-23450444

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