Warangal Experience: Our short sweet but an eventful stay in Hyderabad took us to many places around Hyderabad on weekends. One such weekend we decided to drive down to Warangal. I saw some Goverment websites and Warangal as a place really excited both of us, moreover the distance of just 150 km was another reason. We didn’t know much about Hyderabad and places around so my husband inquired few of the locals in his office. To our utter dismay, almost all of them told him not to visit Warangal, as it is a place famous for naxalites. Many said that there is nothing much to do in Warangal…and no one whom he inquired had visited Warangal being a resident of Hyderbad for more than 15 yrs……….we were almost on the verge of dropping our plans… but as it is said “ADVENTURE IS NOT OUTSIDE A MAN, ITS WITHIN”…we decided………come what may…we will drive down. And lets see what happens???????…………..So I intensified my research decided the places to visit…and we both finally agreed to see the rich architecture of the Kakatiya dynasty. But there was nothing on the Internet… no reviews…so not many have visited this place????!!…I must admit that though we were ready for this adventure…we were still expecting a town, which would be, sparsly populated with abandoned streets…!!!!
We left early moring at about 6 am from Jubilee hills, crossed Secunderabad from where we took the Tarnaka main road, crossed Uppal and soon we touched the highway towards Warangal.The road was smooth and the drive was carefree.
The ancient name of Warangal was known to be Oruguallu or Omtikonda on account of huge boulder like hillock situated near the swayambhu Siva Temple and is also called 'EKASILANAGARAM'. In course of time, 'Orugallu', and finally changed to Warangal.
We were on our weekend to Warangal but we realized the following, exciting places were on the way, so we decided to cover these as well not expecting much from Warangal
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The following been listed below in the order of distance
· Bhongir fort -------80 KMS (all distances from hyderabad)
· Yadagirigutta temple-------90 KMS
· Kolanupaka a jain temple
· Jangaon. “Ram” from Ramayana once visited this place!!!!!!!!!
· Warangal 150 KMS
· Ramappa lake and ramappa temple 220 KMS
After covering a stretch of about 80 kms from our residence we reached the 12th century made Bhongir Fort. The fort is built on an isolated gigantic rock. The fort was earlier known as Bhuvanagiri. We did not climb the fort; instead we decided to have scrumptious breakfast.
I guess its good to reach this place early morning or late evening, as there is no shelter from the sweltering heat up there. Also (I think) its better to come in groups as the place looked isolated from below!!!!!!!! The small fort has nothing much to show except the panoramic view of the neighboring places which it offered at 500 feet above the ground. …. As told to us by the locals…. Guys you may try going up there!!!!!!!!!
Guys following this Itinerary…please eat well…. There are no other good place to eat on the way till Warangal… not that I can remember of!!!!!!!!!
Our next destination was Yadagirigutta, home to a hill temple. After Bhongir watch out for the left turn you need to make under a huge sculpted archway where the road leaves the main highway to proceed to the temple. About 3 kms before the foot of the cave temple is a shrine to Shiva, which has an enormous, and hugely kitschy, Hanuman-Shiva concrete statue straddling the courtyard. You can actually see the top of Yadagirigutta from there. Keep going. The drive is uphill and because it was a Saturday the place was crowded and we had difficulty in parking our vehicle
The temple: The sanctum of this hill temple is a natural cavern on the hill. Jwala Narasimha, Ghandabheranda Narasimha, and Yoga Narasimha are held in worship here, in addition to a silver image of Lakshmi Narasimha and a shrine to Aandaalamma. There was a huge crowd and so we took the special darshan ticket, we could speed up the process other wise we would have to wait in the queue for another 3 hours. This is one of the very famous temples of Andhra Pradesh .Wow!!!! what a sacred start to our weekend!!!!!!!!
The next stop was Pembarti, which is about100 km from Hyderabad and about 60 kms from Warangal. It is famous for statues, carvings and castings made of attractive copper alloys like bronze and brass, which are famous all over the world. So the statues in the Manhattan hotel or Tokyo corporate office may be from Pembarti. U can buy beautiful pandaans (betel nut carrying boxes), ittar daans (scent containers) but what I liked the most was the brass lamp. It’s a must stop for lovers of Indian crafts otherwise u may skip this halt. We just had a brief 15 min stop to check the art center and also stretch ourselves. The people are very lazy and won’t show you unless u ask……they have their clientele and are not bothered if u just drop in for a dekho….. Be alert as the village is a tiny hamlet u may miss while driving.!!!!!!!!!
Very close to Pembarti ….. You have to take a detour of about 8 km to reach Kolanupaka. This was the second capital town of Kalyani Chalukyas during the 11th century AD .The 2,000-year-old Jain temple of Mahaveer is a famous place of worship for Jains in the country. The temple is embellished with beautiful images of Thirthankaras. The 5ft high image of Mahavira is entirely carved of Jade.
It was a nice quiet place but by the time we reached this place, it was hot and we were tired. The road to this temple is full of potholes, a stretch of shops on either side, a railway crossing and no traffic control. We landed in a Catch 22 situation and had to move towards the temple, as there was no way we could turn back. With no offence to the Jain community, I thought we could have skipped this detour. We must be one of the few Non-jains to have visited so many Jain temples in India!!!!!!!!
Next stop was located at a distance of 10 kms from Jangoan. It was the Sri Ramchandra temple Jeedichal The temple is an ancient one and legends goes that, Lord Sri Rama visited this temple on his way to 'Lanka' (Sri Lanka) after separation from his wife Sita. People also believe that, Rama has killed the 'Maricha' who was in the guise of the Magis deer. A boulder namely 'Ledi Banda','Jeedigundam' and 'Palagundam' the two pushkarinis for the holy dip of the pilgrims are seen here. Well we had to drive further and we were not prepared for the holy dip. We visited the temple and left…it was getting hotter…and getting out of the car was impossible now.
We had seen so many temples that we were having a feeling that we were on a pilgrimage…but this temples that we saw had familiar names from the Ramayana which we just read in books…so the thrill of seeing the places live took us to this temple!!!!!!!
Anyway we soon reached Warangal ……we were expecting a deserted town but the Punnami hotel (run by the Andhra Pradesh tourism department) where we had booked a room for ourselves was bang opposite the regional engineering college, but outside the city centre. (A big disadvantage)
But booking at this place was the biggest mistake. Guys travelling to this region do not stay here… The rooms are basic with a window AC with little cooling and lots of noise………it has no running restaurant. …And no one comes here other than government officers. The staff is not helpful at all. The best place to stay and eat is Hotel Ashoka and it is in the city centre ………. We had already paid in advance in Hyderabad and so were left with no choice. We had all our meals in Ashoka; our hotel was not ready to serve even the morning tea. Please learn from our mistake!!!!!!!!1
And yes stay where ever u want according to your budget but remember to book yourself an AC room in my opinion… it is hot here, all round the year!!!!!!!!
Hotel Ashoka, Hanamakonda is the best hotel to stay Ph: 78491. Hotel Ratna, Warangal. PH: 60645. Hotel Shankar, hanamakonda. PH: 79196.are some more which u may try. STD Code: 08712
Activities & things to do: Warangal is a busy, crowded town like any other town can be. . There is no danger of any naxalites…not any that we could feel…after a good lunch we came back to our hotel and slept…. like a log. We were tired driving. , And woke up only at about 4:00 pm and soon decided to explore the city. We had our own car… but decided to take an auto. We didn’t want to spend time figuring out the roads. That that was a really good idea…Saturday the city was crowded, with so many people on the streets, busy with shopping, finishing all the work, as Sundays are a holiday here.
Our first stop was the Warangal Fort: The 13th century fort was built by Kakatiya king Ganapathi Deva and his daughter Rudramma. It took nearly 62 years to complete the fort. Many sculptures and other pieces of architectural values can be seen here. Built with Geometric intricacies, one must not miss the carved thorana (leaf like) arches. A Temple of Mother earth is in the middle of the fort (Swayam Bhudevi Alayam). It takes time to see this fort so start early. We had to rush, as the temple would soon shut.
BHADRAKALI TEMPLE: The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali, the Glant mother Goddess, with fierce looking eyes and face. The main attraction of the temple is the stone image of the diety in human form, in sitting posture, wearing a crown and having eight hands holding various weapons. There is a huge tank and a garden near the temple where u can spend some time. But there are too many mosquitoes to spoil the peace so carry a mosquito repellent cream for sure.
Next we went to theThousand Pillar Temple or the Rudreshwar Swamy Temple: This temple is dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Surya is star shaped. Built in 1163AD in the unique 'Trikootalaya' style of Chalukyan temples, is a fine example of Kakatya architecture and sculpture. The shrine is famous for its richly caved pillars, exterior walls, ceiling slabs and fine sculptures. The beautifully carved black Nandi, a monolith, has a very highly polished finish. It is situated in the middle of the city so after this was dinnertime!!!!.By the end of the day we realised that we had not seen so many temples in a day ever !!!!We soon slept as we were tired and had to get up early morning for our next destination.
Ramappa Temple at Palampet village is 70 kilometers from Warangal and about 220 kilometers from Hyderabad .The drive to Ramappa was another interesting one…. you ‘ll see no vehicle, no animal and no humans, just fields of sunflowers, till u reach the temple. Its like u own this road and can drive with eyes shut…!!!!!!!!!!!
The Ramalingeswara temple, popularly called Ramappa Temple, is a classic example of Kakatiyan architecture. The construction of the temple dates back to 1213 AD and originally there were said to be three structures but only one is presently intact. . U can see the ruins of the other temples around. The Shivalaya stands majestically on a six-ft high star-shaped platform. This temple is famous for its rich, intricate sculpture covered walls, pillars, brackets and ceilings.
One km from the temple is the Ramappa Lake. Its water is spread over an area of more than 82 Sq.Kms with lush greenery all around. It is an excellent place for lovers of picnic. This was the end of our holiday and the best part of the holiday. Actually I should not say this… but we saw so many temples on the way and in the city that it was kind of getting monotonous…we thought that this would be like any other lake… But it was a very nice place to just sit and look at the blue waters…We had a half an hour boat ride (speed boat) for 200 rs, but it was worth it… one doesn’t really need to do anything or talk…u can sit here for long hours conversing with the silence…with the background music of the breeze, the birds and the trees interupting…we stayed here for about 3 hours and finally left because we HAD to leave in order to reach home in time……….. It was a Sunday and our holiday was almost at its end……
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: What to Buy: I bought the Warangal carpet from Lepakshi Handicrafts Podduturi Complex. But there are many more crafts on display so one may choose as per their tastes
Just for your information…………Other places are Khadi Gramodyog Bhandar, Subedari Hanamkonda (Khadi items), Warangal Dhurries Kothawada in Warangal, Pembarthy Brass Material Near Jangoan in Warangal District Cheriyal Scroll Paintings at cherial 30 kms from Jangoan in the Warangal District.
Sundays all shops are closed so plan accordingly
Fort Warangal Site Guide S. D Goush Pasha Tel: +91 9090107346.,,,,,,,,D. Ravinder Tel: +91 9390107212
P. Maheshwar 1000 Pillars Temple, Site Guide Tel: +91 9849236479
Ramappa Temple Site Guide G. Vijay Kuamar Tel: +91 0870 15-240161(PP) T. Venkatesh Tel: +91 0870 15-240176(PP)
Regional Tourist Information Bureau, Warangal Tel: +91 0870 2459201
We had a nice weekend break but it may not be a fun holiday so plan accordingly. All you lovers of temple architecture in Hyderabad…Warangal is a place worth a visit once…it’s very safe …towards the end the thought of naxalites was so diluted that we just didn’t remember that there was a fear lurking over us at the beginning of our holiday…(I know there are too many temples)………. But enjoy the break!!!!!!
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