Sunday, July 18, 2010

From the Bhadrakali temple, we reached Hanumakonda the capital city of the Kakatiya rulers and 8kms from WaraDSC04322ngal town.

The Thousand Pillar temple is located in a place where we need to pass a narrow lane and reach till the end. Then there is a spacious location where we can find the  temple. On the first look, this seems like a very ordinary Mantapa. There was renovation going on when i visited this place.

This temple according to an inscription on a pillar here, was commissioned by  Rudra - I of the Kakatiya dynasty in 1163 AD. It measures over 31M x 25M stands on a platform raised to a height of 1M from thDSC04324e ground. It consists of three shrines of Siva, Vishnu and Surya arranged around a central hall with a Ranga Mantapa. In the forefront there is a large pillared Mantapa in variety of patterns. Between the Mantapa and the temple, there is a massive Nandi in a plain pavilion.

Once we enter the enclosure, we see the rectangular stepped temple tank. Out side the tank are various pieces of art that are strewn that were probably part of some construction which is now totally destroyed. Some of them are extremely beautiful with niDSC04336ce artistry.

We see the side of the temple when we enter the enclosure. Once we get to see the front of the temple, we will be able to appreciate its beauty. The Ranga Mantapa is spacious and with carved ceiling. The pillars are square at base and round on the top, a trade mark of a Siva Temple. The pillars are large and carved in sections which gives a magnificent look.

The temple is not that big. However, with the three sanctums inside, this looks big from outside. Why is thiDSC04361s called the Thousand Pillar Temples then? The outer side of the temple is carved as pillars from place to place and there are a thousand of them all together. These pillars support the roof from the outside as show in this picture.  

The elegant carving at the richly decorated pillars under the spacious roof spanning the embellished side slabs is an achievement of unparalleled excellence of the architect.

There iDSC04327s art everywhere in this temple. Right from the inner sanctum and the Ranga Mantapa inside the temple to the outer pillars are all sculpted. A special mention need to be made of the Nandi in front of the temple. This is on an elevated plain pavilion but the way its carved gives it a lively look.  The  statue is carved like as if its decorated with an embroidered silk cloth.

We spent about an hour looking at each of the small sculptures and then had lunch. It was almost 4 in the evening. We then visited the most beautiful piece of art in Warangal, the Ramappa Temple.

To be continued…

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We moved around the various items of the Warangal fort that are placed in an enclosure.

In the saDSC04248me enclosure at a distance, there is the Gun Powder room.  To reach this  place, we need to go to the farther corner of the enclosure, climb a platform which clearly is the basement of a ruined palace. The floor of the platform is carved with beautiful designs. These are totally neglected now and there is every danger that they are stolen. We move on this platform, jump a small wall and reach the Gun Powder Room.

As mentioned earlier, the Gun Powder room resembleDSC04255s a Siva shrine with its round pillars and secluded from the other constructions. The reason could have been to avoid any damage to the main structure as it was filled with weapons then. On  closer look, you would see that there is no sanctum and there is a wooden door. The inside of the structure is cool and suits for a nice break as Warangal is a hotter place for most of the year. There are maDSC04261ny pieces of art lying in the bushes which are extremely beautiful. The panel of Goddess Lakshmi and a couple of flower panels are worth a mention. There are a couple of pink sand stone slabs with inscription on them. All these on the verge of destruction. I did not see any steps that the State Archaeology Department should be taking to preserve these.

We had a well earned break at this place and moved on to the Khush Mahal which falls on the way back.

Sitab Khan’s (1504 - 1512) palace, also called as the Khush Mahal is a rectangular structure with measurements as 16x38x12. This spacious palace isDSC04278 build in the Indo - Islamic style of architecture. This would have been used as an audience hall considering its size. However it was probably built during the 14th century Tughlak occupation of the fort, the only building from that period. Its sharply sloping walls  are a typical feature of Tughlak architecture. The longer east and west walls of the building have a projecting parapet and six high arches framed by narrow rectangles. These admit light to the interior. A wide entrance arch on the north wall leads to a single spacious DSC04286chamber inside with small storage rooms on each side.

This monument has been converted into a museum where various Hindu and Jain pieces of art are placed. The most beautiful are the wall panels and window mesh both made of stone. The roof of the palace was rebuilt in the year 2003. There is an inscription about the rule of Sitab Khan at the entrance. Transverse arches span the high ceiling. Broken fragments from the Svayambhu enclosure and Jain temples are placed inside the hall and near the north entrance.

We moved from Warangal to Hanumakonda where we had a darshan of the Goddess Bhadrakali, the royal deity of the Kakatiya dynasty. We had lunch and then visited the world famous Thousand Pillar Temple.