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Thousand Pillar Temple – 850 year old Architecture Marvel

Thousand Pillar Temple – Symbol of Rich Telugu Kakatiyan Architecture


Side View of Thousand Pillar Temple Waranga
Side View of Thousand Pillar Temple Warangal – Image Courtesy: www.wikimedia.com

The District of Warangal hosts an amazing collection of tourist destinations. The Thousand Pillar Temple in Hanamakonda is one such jewel. Despite being ravaged by Muslim invasions, the temple stands testimony to the singular architectural styles of the Kakatiyan dynasty and an important tourist place of Warangal city.

Built under the able supervision of Kakatiya Rudradeva in 1163, the temple is one of the best examples of Kakatiyan architectural genius. The temple is called as “Sri Rudreshwara Swamy Temple” named after the Kakatiya Ruler Rudradeva. The entrance gateways, ceilings and pillars of the structure are all embellished with elaborate and exquisite carvings. The temple with thousand pillars and the unique star shape of the temple is an
architectural marvel in itself and among the ancient temples of Telangana and also India. This style of Kaktiyan Architecture is called as “Trikootalaya”.

The thousand pillars that support the temple structure and from which it derives its name is perhaps the most interesting thing that is worth a look. Each of these pillars bears beautiful carvings of motifs that remind one of the Kakatiyan style. Sculptures representing the art styles of the by-gone eras grace the walls of this ancient temple; ornate and exquisite, each wall within the temple is an absolute poetry in stone.

The temple houses the shrines of Lord Shiva (Rudreshwar), Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya. In addition to the three presiding deities, the temple precincts are also strewn with several lingam shrines. The sprawling gardens surrounding the main temple have been liberally used to house these shrines. Each shrine has its connotation in the pages of history and thus is a precious asset to Telangana cultural heritage and also for Indian Historical monuments.

The temple garden is well-manicured and excellently maintained. The lavish green spread in front of the temple is not only refreshing to the mind but also awakens the need to surrender to the almighty. It renders an atmosphere of peace, calm and serenity thus creating the right environment for the place.

Fine Sculpting of Warangal Thousand Pillar Temple
Fine Sculpting of Warangal Thousand Pillar Temple – Image Courtesy: www.hoparoundindia.com

The temple stands proudly on a platform that rises to a height of 1 metre from the ground and is perched on a slope on the Hanamkonda hills. It is also the main attraction of the place. Tourists are afforded a glimpse of the architectural splendor of the Kakatiya dynasty through the exquisite perforated screens embellishing the main structure. The attention to detailing in each of its sculpture deserves special mention. The rock cut elephant structures that exude the remarkable genius of the Kakatiyan artisans are truly worth seeing.

Most notable among its sculptures is that of a giant Nandi that is present within the temple premises. The monolithic structure is made of black basalt and has a polish that shines brightly even today. This majestic structure is a strong reminder of the glorious history of the Kakatiya rulers in their capital city of Warangal.

The temple is easily accessible from every corner of the country. The ample transport options available enable visitors to conveniently fit in this rich legacy within their travel plans. The Thousand Pillar Temple gifts tourists with the perfect opportunity to savor the past and history of Kakatiya rulers on Orugallu (old name of Warangal).

Very Fine Sculpting on a pillar at Thousand Pillar Temple
Very Fine Sculpting on a pillar at Thousand Pillar Temple – Image Courtesy: www.chaitanyasagar.com

There are many interesting facts about Thousand Pillar Temple. It’s is still believed that there is an underground route from Warangal Fort to this temple which was build by Kakatiya ruler and also beleived that the Kakatiya ruler used this route to visit this temple.

Other interesting fact is the temparature inside the temple is always cool. One should sit in the temple to feel the cooling effect even in hot summer. It is beleived that this cooling effect is because of the special soft wet sand used at the foundation level which is connected to Bhadrakali Lake through a pipe connection.

The pillars of this temple are very unique and even a small micro carving is done with great detailing care and one can see the simmitry of the carvings on the pillars of Thousand Pillar Temple.

The ‘Nandi’ is a special attraction of this temple. The carvings on this Nandi is very interesting and looks like real jewellary. The minute carvings are done with extra care and are perfect to more than 1000 percent.

There is big mandapam on the other side of the temple which is dismantled by Archealogical Survey of India (ASI). ASI assured that the mandapam will be re-arranged but till now the process has not yet begu. Also there used to be water pond (Temple Koneru) on the left side of the temple which is now converted to grass lawn. This shows the huge negligance by the ASI and government on this historical architectural Temple of Telangana.

Carvings on Roof at Thousand Pillar Temple
Carvings on Roof at Thousand Pillar Temple – Image Courtesy: www.incredibleap.com

The Thousand Pillar temple is 850 years old and has therefore been a witness to a long history. The architecture it represents is a reminder of the glorious traditions of Kakatiya rulers. A lot is lost to the ravages of man and nature. However, whatever little remains justify the rich legacy that this generation inherits from their predecessors. It is to appreciate this, if not for anything else, that the Thousand Pillar temple should be on the
map for every tourist touring the district of Warangal.

Now Thousand Pillar temple is one of the major tourist destinations of Telangana and Warangal reflecting the rich Telugu culture of Kakatiya dynasty dated back to 850 years.

Special Attractions:
– The Nandi Bull
– Rich Carvings on the thousand pillars
– Small minute carving with great care and detail

Nearby Attractions:
– Bhadrakali Temple, Warangal
– Warangal Fort
– Padmakshi Temple, Hanamkonda

Thousand Pillar Temple Timings: Daily 6Am to 8PM

Location: Loacted in Warangal Tri-City (Warangal-Hanamkonda-Kazipet) near Hanamkonda Chowrastha.

Carvings on the roof at Thousand Pillar Temple
Carvings on the roof at Thousand Pillar Temple – Image Courtesy: www.indiatvnews.com

– 140 Kms from Hyderabad (3 hours drive by car)
– 7 kms from Warangal Railway Station
– 70 kms from Karimnagar (1.5 hours drive by car)

How to reach:
– There are trains from Secunderabad to Kazipet. Kazipet Railway Station is 7 kms far from this temple.One can get down at Kazipet and take a bus or sharing auto. Secunderabad to Kazipet Train journey will take 2.5 hours.
– Plenty of buses from MGBS bus stop Hyderabad. It takes 3.5 hours by bus.
– There are many buses from all the major towns of Telangana to Hanamkonda bus stop. From Hanamkonda bus stop, Thousand Pillar Temple is 1.5 kms far.

Food Facilities: There are plenty of restuarents and Dhabhas in Hanamkonda. One can get all kinds of food. But dont miss Irani chai.

Where to Stay:
– There are quite some 2 star hotels and budget hotels in Hanamkonda.
– Hotels like Asoka, Landmark, Citygrand, Haritha, etc are affordable.

Contact Numbers:
State Tourism Department – 040-23450444
Warangal District Tourism Officer- 0870-2459201

Rare Image of Thousand Pillar Temple taken in the year 1887-1888 by Deen Dayal
Rare Image of Thousand Pillar Temple taken in the year 1887-1888 by Deen Dayal – Image Courtesy: www.abovetopsecret.com

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