Padmakshi Temple Hanamkonda – Ancient Temple of Telangana
Nestled in the Hanamkonda hills lies a fascinating temple dedicated to the mother goddess – The Padmakshi Temple (also called as Padmakshi Gutta by locals). Built under the Kakatiya dynasty in the first quarter of the 12th century, the temple houses the Goddess Padmakshi as its primary deity.
The Kakatiyan King Betaraju II was the first king in his dynasty to have converted to Veerasaivism. However, prior to that all Kakatiyan kings were followers of Jainism. It was under the rule of Prolaraju II that the Kakatiyans built a Jain temple or Badasi. This was later converted to the Padmakshi temple once the rulers converted to Veerasaivism. The temple therefore bears several sculptures and carvings scattered throughout its walls that display Jain Tirthankaras and other motifs that bear a strong stamp of the Jain culture.
The most notable among these sculptures is the Annakonda pillar located at the entrance of the temple. The Pillar is a quadrangular structure made of black granite. The four walls of this pillar show liberal display of rich Jain carvings that enhance the aesthetic value of the structure. Also worth mentioning is the book rest or Vyasapitha carving.
The beautiful Padmakshhi Temple of Hanamkonda is one of the ancient Temples of Telangana built by Kakatiyas and an important tourist spot of Warangal Tourism. The trek up to the temple is through a long arduous path mainly comprising rocky boulders. The access path is characteristic of Jain ascetics who deliberately chose such areas to practice austerity and test their perseverance. The temple interestingly is formed from a natural cavern. Both the temple and the inner Sanctorum are north facing. Steps are cut into the rocky walls that help visitors reach the pond below.
The Padmakshi Temple Hanamkonda gains a lot of focus every year during the Batukamma festival when women gather here to offer prayers to the goddess Gauri. This is a colorful festival where women color little pots with the auspicious red and yellow color and decorate them with flowers. Marigold is often a popular choice owing to its bright yellow or orange hue. They place the pots in the center and sing and dance around it the whole day. It is a day of much joy, merriment, and music. It is also a colorful sight to behold. At the end of the day the women immerse the pots in the water. The little water body at the foot of the hill overfills with the devotion of women who come here to offer their prayers to the Goddess Gauri. The whole place dons a festive look and is quite a treat for the eyes.
The area around the Padmakshi temple Hanamkonda however, till quite recently, was very uninviting. Visitors found it difficult to tread the rocky and thorny terrain to reach the temple. As a result the temple though beautiful came to assume a deserted look. However, in 2008 this place was developed to make it congenial for tourism. Today it is a tourist’s delight and a must visit for every tourist. The access roads to the temple have been widened, in the evenings the whole area is illuminated and the banks of the ponds have been strengthened with a Bund for additional safety of devotees. Moreover, one can get a fantastic view of the city below from the top of the hill where the temple is situated. On the whole the Padmakshi Temple area provides a pleasant tourist experience.
Special Attractions in Padmakshi Temple Hanamkonda:
– Annakonda Pillar
– Bathukamma Festival
– Panoramic view of Hanamkonda city from the top of the hill
– Bhadrakali Temple
– Warangal Fort
– Thousand Pillar Temple
Padmakshi Temple Hanamkonda Timings: Daily 6 AM to 6:00 PM
How to Reach Padmakshi Temple Hanamkonda:
– Warangal City is connected with good Train facility and bus facilities.
– There are many buses from Hyderabad to Hanamakonda.
– Kazipet Railway Station is one of the major junctions which is very well connected with Hyderabad is 7 kms far from Hanamkonda
– Nearest Airport is Hyderabad Airport
-150 kms from MGBS Hyderabad
-79 Kms from Karimnagar Bus Station
Where to Stay: There are plenty of good hotels in Warangal:
– 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
Warangal Tourism Office Contact Number: 0870-2459201
State Tourism Department – 040-23450444