During our travels around the stepwell Anthasthula Bavi, we were looking to explore other places in Warangal when we came across the Padmakshi temple located 3 km away from Hanamkonda. Built in the 12th century by the Kakatiya kings, it is situated on the hill of Padmakshi Gutta. She was the main Goddess for the dynasty for 900 years. It is said that Madhava Verma, the Kakatiya king was gifted a sword by the Goddess Padmakshi.
One of the oldest temples in the district, it has a very interesting history since it used to be a Jain temple which was converted into a Hindu temple. It was one of the main centers for Jainism in the surrounding areas and was originally called ‘Basadi’. The statues of tirthankaras engraved on walls are now worshiped as local deities. According to historians, the strict rules of Jainism, attracted people towards Shaivism and subsequently, led to the conversion of Jain temples.
Surrounded by a large lake, Padmakshi temple situated on a hillock offers a panoramic view of the area. The temple of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy greets you at the foot of the hill. It was heartening to know that the temple received some funds recently and was being developed as seen in the newly built ghats of the lake.
As we enter the temple, we see statues and bas relief of Jain Tirthankaras. Out of all the statues, the most prominent one is of Lord Parsavanatha. It’s a nice departure from other temples where an arrow on one of the huge boulders guides you towards the left to perform a circumambulation and then reach the main temple. There are caves inside with lingams and a statue of Nandi. A pillar with engraved text stands tall at the entrance to the main temple.
The Goddess Padmavathi is seen here in three stages: morning, afternoon and evening. In the morning, she appears to be like a little girl, a young girl in the afternoon and an old lady in the evening. The views from the top of the hill are majestic. You can see urban settlements of Hanamkonda, Warangal and Kazipet a little far away.
How to reach
This temple is situated near Hanamakonda which is 141 kms from Hyderabad. We went by car and returned by evening.
Thousand Pillar temple, the Warangal fort and the Bhadrakali temple are must visits. There are plenty of places to stay the night in Warangal.
Instead of taking the motorable road that goes to the top (we were not aware of it), we parked our car at the bottom of the hill and walked up. Since the hill is considered to be a sacred one, people don’t wear footwear. We did the same, but the hot midday sun left the stairs really hot. Our feet almost got burnt.