Spiritual tourism in Telangana will remain incomplete without a visit to the historic Warangal district. While Warangal is hailed as a temple town, with the 1000-pillar temple being the most popular one across the world, there are other temples that date back to the Kakatiya era. The Ramappa Temple, Bhadrakali Temple and Inavolu Mallana Temple are a few examples of edifices that reflect the architectural marvel of a bygone era.
Inavolu Mallanna Temple
This temple in Inavolu village of Wardhannapet mandal in Warangal is one of the ancient Lord Shiva temples in South India. The temple, which dates back to the 11th century, was built by the Kakatiya rulers.
Built with 108 pillars, the temple has a giant Nruthya Mandapam on the eastern side. The historical Kakatiya Keerti Toranams (giant rocky entrance gates) were initially constructed here and subsequently at the Warangal Fort.
The Shiva Lingam of the temple is referred to as ‘Ardhapranavattam’ (Shivalinga with half dome). The temple has four entrance gates with rich architectural carvings that epitomise the cultural sophistication of the Kakatiya dynasty. The presiding deity Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy is considered as one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva.
The Inavolu Mallanna Jatara is popular in the district and devotees from different parts of the State come here. The Jatara begins on Bhogi and continues till Ugadi, the Telugu New Year.
The temple is around 18 km from Warangal and 140 km from Hyderabad and visitors can avail food and accommodation in Warangal or Hanamkonda.
Padmakshi Temple is one of the oldest temples in Hanamakonda, with Goddess Padmakshamma as the main deity. One striking feature of the temple are the impressive four faces of a pillar called the Annakonda pillar, which is a quadrangular column made of black granite stone at the entrance of the temple.
Once in a year, lakhs of women come to this place to celebrate the Bathukamma festival and immerse flowers in the pond at the foot of the Padmakshi hillock.
The temple is around 1.5 km from Hanamkonda and 140 km from Hyderabad and the visitors can avail food and accommodation in nearby hotels.
The Ramalingeswara Temple, popularly known as the Ramappa Temple, is in Palampet village of Venkatapur mandal in Mulugu.
A notable feature of this temple is that it is built with bricks that are so light that they can easily float on water. Elaborate carvings line the walls and also cover the pillars and ceilings of the temple.
The Ramappa Temple is around 70 km from Warangal and 210 km from Hyderabad. The Haritha Lake View Resort Ramappa is an ideal hotel for quality food and accommodation for tourists visiting the temple.
Bhadrakali Temple, which is counted as one of the oldest temples in the country, is dedicated to worship the mother of goddesses, Kali Matha or Bhadrakali Ammavaru.
Surrounded by lush greenery in the hills, the Bhadrakali Temple opens up to a picturesque setting on the banks of the Bhadrakali Lake and the serene surroundings of the temple work as an add-on and help the mind to relax.
One can see the style of the great Chalukya dynasty in every bit of the temple, right from its architecture to the main deity, which displays the Ekanda Shila or single stone sculpture and is a trademark style attributed to the Chalukyas.
One can also observe a strong resemblance to the Kakatiya style of architecture in the temple, particularly the entrance gateways which are made of stone. One of the inner pillars of the temple has a Sanskrit inscription on it called ‘Antralaya stambam’.
The temple is 150 km from Hyderabad. There are many hotels offering quality food options along with many options for accommodation.
Thousand Pillar Temple
The Thousand Pillar Temple or Rudreshwara Swamy Temple stands as an architectural masterpiece. Every part of the temple depicts the typical Chalukya style of architecture.
The Thousand Pillar Temple has three presiding deities, Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Surya Deva. The temple is a very popular pilgrimage centre in the State and thousands of devotees of all faiths come here every day.
The temple has a star-shaped architecture, which stands as testimony to the expertise of the wonderful craftsmen of the glorious period. One can also find a huge monolith Nandi, made up of black basalt stone.
The temple, situated within the heart of Hanamkonda, is around 150 km from Hyderabad. There are many hotels offering quality food and accommodation in the city.
Inavolu Mallanna Temple 8 am to 7 pm
Padmakshi Temple 6 am to 6 pm
Ramappa Temple 6 am to 6 pm
Bhadrakali Temple 5:30 am to 8:30 pm
Thousand Pillar Temple 5 am to 9 pm