When someone mentions Gadwal, it inevitably leads to a conversation on saris. Famous for its handlooms, Gadwal is not just home to skilled weavers but exquisite architecture too.
As a supporter of handlooms, I have been to several places to see and document how weavers work. It was during my travels around Telangana, that I came to know about the Gadwal fort and Chennakesava Swamy temple which are said to be fine examples of architecture beauty.
Although my research online didn’t reveal much about the fort and the temple due to lack of photographs, we still decided to take our chance and explore the place. So we set off on our bikes one Saturday morning on our ‘Sheru’ as we affectionately called our Royal Enfield.
The highway was excellent and following a quick breakfast and tea break, we reached Gadwal by 12:30 pm. En route, we stopped by the Jogulamba temple where a Jatara happens every Tuesday. But it was really hot and not the best time for taking pictures, so we decided to come back later during the evening and headed to the fort and temple. Unfortunately, the temple doors were closed when we reached.
As we decided our next course of action, we observed that a part of the Chennakesava Swamy temple now housed and functioned as the Maharani Adilaxmi Devamma Govt Arts and Science College. None of the students seemed to know when the temple would open. Since there was some time, we checked into the Venkateshwara lodge for a good lunch and siesta.
Chennakesava Swamy Temple in the blue hour was lovely. I must say that the temple was very well-maintained and the courtyards spotless. Apart from the main temple, there is a supporting smaller temple with beautiful carvings on the pillars and walls. The temple has been beautifully restored by the Gadwal royal family. A small temple pond and a gaushala make up the rest of the courtyard. We
spent a peaceful time listening to the evening arathi and temple bells. We offered our prayers, took some pictures and sat in front of the temple for a while.
The Gadwal fort and Chennakesava Swamy temple are major landmarks of the city. Built by the Gadwal ruler Peda Soma Bhupaludu (Somanadri) in the 17th century, the forts walls and bastions are as majestic as any other fort in India, despite being small in size.
How to reach:
The best way is to drive there as the highway is excellent. Gadwal is about 180 kms from Hyderabad. We went by bike and it took us about 4 hours to reach. Gadwal also has excellent connectivity by train or bus, but for moving around, you will have to hire a vehicle.
Mornings and evenings are the best times to sight see. The temple is closed during the afternoon from 12 to 4 pm. You can stay at Venkateshwara Lodge in Gadwal. It’s a decent place to stay with clean AC rooms. There is a Haritha Hotel near Jogalumba temple, before approaching Gadwal as well.
Travellers can also visit the Koilsagar Dam Project, Sangameshwar temple, Jurala Dam Project and Chintaruvela temple.
If you are vising Gadwal, do visit one of the small saree manufacturing units and buy some of the lovely Gadwal sarees. The prices are much less compared to the market and also you will be supporting the weavers.