Kakatiya Keerthi Thoranam at Warangal Fort – The gateway of Warangal
The passage of time fails to blur the impact of history. The Tri-city of Warangal-Hanamkonda-Kazipet is known for history of Kakatiyas and Telugu culture. The Warangal Fort is a wonderful example of that fact. Built under the Kakatiya dynasty, the fort continues to attract tourists with the remnants of its lost glory. It epitomizes the pride of a generation who discovered their roots and has strived to hold on to it even today.
The construction of Warangal Fort was started by Kakatiya Rudradeva when he shifted his capital to Warangal from Hanamkonda. Then it was built under the able leadership of Kakatiya Ganapatideva, one of the most illustrious rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty, the fort was considered to be an invincible seat of power. This fort under Ganapatideva was planned in such a way that it breathed protection for all its dwellers. The fort is structured around three concentric rings. The first is a mud wall which stands high at 40 feet. The second is a granite wall and the third ring is where the main fort stands.
The Warangal Fort which covers an area of 19 km is located between Hanamkonda and the city of Warangal. The main fort houses the famous Swayam Bhudevi Alayam or the temple of the mother Earth. In addition to this it has 45 towers each intricately carved and a symbol of the architectural glory that was reinstated by the Kakatiyas in the Telangana area. Some of the other interesting pieces of architectural marvels include the Kakatiya Thoranam arches and the pillars each carrying a story of the former glory of the place; the entrance gateways or Keerthi Thoranas which provide a warm welcome to tourists even today; the beautiful sculptures on the towers and the gateways most notable amongst these being the Mahanasi embellishing the Makarathoranam; the Kala Bhairava sculpture; the beautiful Keerthi Thoranam which is guarded by an exquisite sculpture of an elephant; and most notably the Ekashila the beautiful gateway embellished with exquisite carvings and symbolizing the illustrious rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.
There are 4 Keerthi Thoranams (also called as Hamsa Thoranas) facing 4 directions in this Fort. Each Thorana is made with one stone and all are similar. This Kakatiya Thoranam (or Keerthi Thoranas) has become the symbol of Telugu.
The fort premises are liberally scattered with architectural splendors for tourists to behold. One of these is the Linga shrine. The shrine has been reconstructed with blocks embellished with carvings that have been excavated and placed strategically. The most interesting are the two Dwarapalakas that are placed at the entrance of the shrine. They are shown holding the Trishul and Damru and are adorned with headgear that is conical in shape.
Another interesting excavation of the Warangal fort is a column showing two rows of dancers. The column probably belonged to one of the temple walls and is intricate in its detailing.
Situated close to the Warangal Fort, the Khush Mahal built under the rule of Shitab Khan, a Qutub Shahi ruler deserves a visit. Built as an audience hall, the structure and style of this building bears a strong resemblance to the architectural styles of the Tughlaq dynasty. Therefore it is also possible that the structure was built under the Tughlaqs.
A little further distance is the Ekashila Hill. It is believed that from this hill Rani Rudrama Devi used to do surveillance of the Warangal Fort. Marco Polo, the great traveler from Italy praised that this place is known for wealth and geography intricacies during his visit to India in medieval period (in 1280-1300 AD).
Though the ravages of invasions and the passage of time have erased most of its once illustrious beauty, this fort still retains some of it for the present generation. The Archeological Society of India has diligently worked towards resurrecting whatever is remaining. The Society has declared the site as a Monument of National Importance and therefore has engaged all its efforts in working towards helping tourists in acquainting themselves with culture and heritage of India. The architectural marvels have been arranged aesthetically in clusters within the premises of the fort. Tourists can weave their way in and out of the lanes of history and delight in the knowledge of the district’s glorious past. Locals call this place as “Killa Warangal’ or ‘Quila Warangal’
-Swayam Bhudevi Temple
-Various Pillars and Gateways
-Bhadrakali Temple, Warangal
-Padmakshi Temple, Hanamkonda
-Thousand Pillar Temple, Hanamkonda
Warangal Fort Timings: Daily 10 am to 6:00 pm – Open on all days
Warangal Fort Entry Fee: Rs.5
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
How to Reach:
– 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
– Nearest Airport is Hyderabad Airport
– This fort is 5kms far from Warangal Railway Station.
-150 kms from MGBS Hyderabad
-79 Kms from Karimnagar Bus Station
Food Facilities: One can easily find many restaurants and dhabhas in Warangal. Dont miss Irani Chai and Hot Mirchi Bajjis of Tri-City of Warangal.
Warangal Tourism Office Contact Number: 0870-2459201
State Tourism Department: 040-23450444