Palampet was in my list of must visit places for quite some time. The beauty of the place is that it has a bit of everything we travellers would possibly expect. From old temples with awe-inspiring architecture to diverse wildlife, a trip to Palampet has it all.
The serene village is a beautiful drive from Hyderabad and is a convenient trip to make without extensive planning. We started our journey from Hyderabad on a Saturday morning and reached Warangal in about three hours and spent the whole day there. The 1000 pillar temple, the Bhadrakali temple, Warangal fort are some of the places one can see here. Enroute, you can also stop by the majestic Bhongir fort for tea. The 2000-year-old Jain temple at Kolanupaka which is made of white marble with intricate carvings on the walls and ceiling is also on the way if you take a small detour.
After staying overnight in Warangal, we started at 5am for Palampet and reach there in just two hours but not without frequent stops for taking pictures and tea. The main attraction of Palampet is the Ramappa temple. Situated amid lush green fields, it’s a marvel for the eyes. Built in 1213 A.D. by the Kakatiya dynasty, this is the only temple known to be named after its head sculptor – Ramappa. It is a star-shaped temple with two more sub-shrines on both sides. The temple boasts a massive nine feet high monolithic Nandi facing the Shiva lingam of the main temple.
Since we were early, we were the only visitors to the temple and had a great time going around the temple observing the details on the sculptures peacefully. The columns of the temple are exquisitely carved depicting various gods and goddesses from the Indian mythology. The ceiling was made in the form of a huge lotus with carved petals. The intricate carvings and sculptures are testimonies of the artistic dexterity of the era. Surprisingly, there are also statues of dancing women wearing high heels.
Later, the temple priest came and started his morning rituals. Watching the priest performing aarthi was an enlightening experience.
The Ramappa lake is in close vicinity of the temple and is a great place to sit and relax and do some boating. If you have time, visit the Ganapur group of temples, comprising 22 temples which arenearby. People keen on more adventure can go further to Laknavaram lake and group of islands where the APTDC has constructed a hanging bridge. Further ahead is the Etunagaram Wildlife Sanctuary which has flourishing and diverse wildlife.
How to reach:
Warangal is 140 kms from Hyderabad and Palampet is located at a distance of 70kms. The most convenient way to go there is by car. Warangal is very well connected by train and buses and has good accommodation options. There are infrequent buses to Palampet from Hanmakonda.
Famous for its spicy food, do try the naatu kodi (country chicken) with jowar rotis and Chepala pulusu, which is another popular dish.