Friday, 18 November 2016

Warangal

It's been roughly five years since I visited Waranagal.
I was one of those 'on the spur of a moment' decision that my hubby and I took to go on a road trip to Warangal; without any bookings whatsoever.
Thus, our journey began at the dawn of very next day.

View of Bhongir fort on the way to Warangal





























Warangal is about 140 kms from Hyderabad by road. But it took us almost 4 hrs reach the city because of the tantrum that we had to manage of our three year daughter. Once there, our little one co-operated splendidly but we soon realized  that our timing was wrong.
It was the time of a local festival- Samakka Saralamma Jataka that attracts many worshipers across the petty villages of the area. And we had reached the city on the same day and without any hotel reservations!

Most of the well-known hotels of the city were occupied. After an hour of running- about we found a tiny road side 'lodge' that was clean and served the purpose.

There are quite a few places to visit when in Warangal- the Fort, the Thousand pillared temple, Bhadrakaali temple. And if one drives further down for about 60 kms, they can also take a look at the scenic Laknavaram lake and Ramappa temple.

Our plan started with Warangal Fort.

Welcoming pillars of the fort...


























































The Warangal Fort was built on Ekashila hillock in 13th century by the rulers of Kakatiya dynasty. Earlier, it was ruled by the Yadava dynasty. Once the Kakatiya rulers took over, the construction of the fort began under the leadership of Ganapathideva. It was his daughter RudramaDevi who has been credited with the completion of the Fort. Her grandson Prathaparudra II too added to the fortification of the fort. The fortification consisted of a three- layered moat structure made of stone and hardened mud.

In 1309, the fort was attacked by Malik Kafur (general of Allauddin Khilji). Nonetheless, the army of Warangal withstood the attack for six months and defended the attack within the walls of the fort. But Kafur had attacked with an army of whopping 10,00,000 men which shook the men of Prathaparudra. He finally formed a truce with Kafur by giving away wealth from his treasury.































The fort was repeatedly attacked thereafter and finally fell in the hands of Delhi Sultanate. Eventually, it was part of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty and later of Hyderabad Nizams.

Although every single piece within the fort is in ruins, it still stands as a testimony to the finest artistry and craftsmanship of the bygone era. The main attraction of the fort is undoubtedly the four Kirti Thoranas- ornamental gates. Standing strong, these pillars are 30ft tall and are built using single rock.
































Kirti Thorana...which also happens to be the state emblem




























After satiating ourselves  with the beauty of the ruined fort, we headed for 1000 pillar temple. We were totally disappointed with the crowd as well as the state of the road that led to the temple. Nonetheless, the carvings inside the temple are worth noticing.

Day two of the road trip began with the 'darshan' of BhadraKali temple. Though an atheist, the view of the temple against the backdrop of the lake is soothing. The Kali idol inside the temple is equally stunning. With a quick darshan, we headed for another 70 kms drive to get a glimpse of Laknavaram lake.

We reached the lake rather hesitantly as the road that led us to the lake from the main road bore a look of seclusion and unsafe. As we approached the lake, I was sure I didn't want Mr. Hubby to drive on the muddy- bumpy road, considering he was a novice at driving at that point of time! But as usual, he said we had to take the risk after all the travelling. Thus, we reached the destination but gladly realized that it was worth taking the risk.






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The lake is spread across an area of 10,000 acres and irrigates around 3,500 acres of agricultural land. The suspension bridge is one of the main attractions. But the real beauty lies in the fact that it was secluded.
































The suspension bridge...



























Another beautiful structure that attracts visitors is the Ramappa temple in Palampet. Ramappa temple is known by that name because of the sculptor who built it- Ramappa. It is a Shiva temple where Lord Ramalingeshwara is worshiped. Situated on a star- shaped platform, it is believed taken 40 years to complete the temple. It is a marvelous example of the Kakatiyan architecture with its' roof made of brick so light that it can even float in water!

The first glimpse of Ramappa temple






































Carvings on dual-toned stone..





























Filling our hearts and souls with some history and nature we returned Hyderabad after two days. Driving back home was quite easy but as we entered Hyderabad all the excitement vanished in thin air as we got stuck with a 2 hour traffic jam!



Temples and Step wells of Lakkundi

The numerous drives that we had undertaken between Hubli and Hyderabad in the last 10 years, never had we noticed this tiny village- Lakkun...