Warangal, located at a distance 148 km from the city of Hyderabad bordering the state’s northeast boundaries, enables you to explore the unknown in Telangana. In the process you discover hidden treasures of knowledge and get better acquainted with the state.
The history of Telangana is deeply imprinted with the valiant footprints of the Kakaktiya kings whose resonance is felt even today in the alleys and pathways of the various districts and cities of the state. The Kakatiyas, who ruled from the 12th to the 14th century, declared Orugallu as their capital and laid sway over the region with pomp and grandeur. During the years of their reign, they adorned Orugallu with forts, temples, gateways each of which acted as a strong statement of their religious and aesthetic aspirations. Gradually, as Orugallu evolved into Warangal, the remnants of the Kakatiya era sustained the ravages of time and stood tall as a reminder of its glorious past. Some of these merged with the Muslim influences to attain a whole new character. Others however, remained unmarred by the impacts of time thus attracting attention with their uniqueness. Warangal today offers a fantastic concoction of history, art, religion and culture etched out on the canvas of an exquisite natural panorama which seldom fails to entice the traveller.
The Forts and Gateways: Warangal Tourism
The Warangal Fort is a beautiful testimony of the power and valour that the Kakatiyas personified. Built under the supervision of one of the most able and valiant rulers of the dynasty, Ganapati deva, the fort stretches across an area of 19 km. It is enclosed within 45 intricately designed towers and holds within its ramparts the beautiful temple, the Swayambhu Bhudevi Alayam.
Among its other embellishments, the 4 Keerthi Thoranams, are probably the most ornate and also the most famous structures that are housed within the Warangal Fort. The beautifully carved gateways are made of a single stone and are known as Ekashila. Consequently, Warangal is also known as Ekashila Nagaram.
Being declared as a Monument of National Importance by the Archeological Society of India has helped the decadent Warangal Fort revive some of its lost glory. It still stands proudly welcoming footfalls and inspires admiration in the hearts of its visitors.
Warangal houses several scenic and picturesque artificial and natural lakes. Though used primarily as the main source of water supply for the area they are located in, the Warangal lakes serve as an excellent tourist destination. The Pakhal Lake, for example, located 50 km east of the city of Warangal provides a serene ambience for an enjoyable and relaxing day out with family and friends. Moreover, the Pakhal Wild life sanctuary, that skirts the banks of the lake and is sprawled across an area of 860 square kilometres, provides tourists with a wonderful opportunity for wildlife viewing. The Laknavaram Cheruvu is another attractive tourist destination. Another significant contribution of the Kakatiyan rulers, who realising the potential of the lake to serve as a source of water supply for the people of Warangal, built two sluice gates over the lake waters. In its present form, Laknavaram Cheruvu with a smattering of isolated islands entices tourists to lose themselves in its midst. The Ramappa Lake is another man-made lake which speaks volumes on the irrigation genius of the Kakatiyas. Set in scenic surroundings, it is another opportunity that tourists can grab to laze around and enjoy the tranquility that nature affords.
Warangal houses several temples which have attracted attention for both their religious as well as architectural significance. Most of these temples are dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva or Vishnu or one of their incarnations. Notable among these are the Ghanpur temples, the Ramappa Temple, the Veerabhadra Temple, the Veeranarayana temple, Ramachadraswamy temple, Siddheshwara Temple and the Someshwara Lakshmi Naraswamy temple. Hanamkonda in Warangal district houses the star-shaped Thousand Pillar temple which is revered more for its architectural beauty than its religious aspect. The temple is named, after the thousand pillars that support the temple structure. Beautifully adorned with exquisite carvings, the temple is a wonderful specimen of the architectural genius of the Kakatiya kings.
The Warangal Culture ensconces several interesting facets. Experiencing and participating in the tribal festivals are one way of discovering the true culture of Warangal. The Samakka Saralamma Jathara is one of the biggest biennial tribal fair that is held in the months of January –February of every even ended year. People arrive in beautifully decorated bullock carts to participate in the festivities and get blessed by tribal goddesses Samakka and Sarakka. This fair is also a popular destination for tourists from India and abroad.
One of the biggest testimonies of Warangal’s glorious history is the existence of the 100-year-old Kazipet Railway Station in Kazipet. The Junction that was established in 1904 is a major hub connecting all sectors from North to South and from East to West. It is also one of the busiest station with 60 trains crossing its tracks on a daily basis. Combined with the fact that Kazipet is an integral part of Warangal’s history and heritage, a visit to the station is a definite agenda on every travel itinerary.
Warangal also houses several parks and sanctuaries for nature and wildlife lovers. The Van Vigyan park in Hunter road in Hanamkonda city, is spread out across an area of 50 acres and is built and maintained by the Forest Department. The park provides a variety of flora and fauna and is a happy habitat for animals like spotted deer, nilgai, sambhar, crocodiles, rabbits, tortoises and sloth bear. It also provides educational opportunities that help to acquaint children to the need and importance of preserving their environment.
The Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Eturnagram in Warangal, is a safe haven for several endangered species like tiger, black buck, sloth bear, chowsingha or the four horned antelope and the chinkara and proves to be a popular spot for wildlife lovers.
Warangal has almost something for everyone. Explore its diversity to discover a new facet hidden within its folds. With every new discovery, you gradually get to unravel the whole canvas that defines Telangana Tourism. Warangal Tourism has increased many times after the formation of Telangana State. Telangana State Government is taking proper measures to promote Warangal Tourism and other tourist attractions of Warangal specially monuments/temples built by the great Kakatiya Rulers.