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Location: In the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh
Attractions: Warangal Fort, Thousand Pillar Temple and Bhadra Kali Temple.
Best Time To Visit : October to June
Once known as Orugallu or Omtikonda, Warangal is now an important city in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The fourth largest city in Andhra Pradesh, Warangal is also the headquarters of Warangal District. Warangal is 150 kms north-east of the state capital Hyderabad and served by regular buses. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Warangal was the Hindu capital of the Kakatiyan empire. Like other Deccan towns, the kingdom of Warangal changed several times between the Hindu and Muslim rulers. Even today you will find a glimpse of the bygone era in its architecture.
Today, the city of Warangal is one of the biggest commercial and industrial cities of South India. Warangal is famous for granite querries, grain market for rice, red chillies, cotton and tobacco. In addition to these, the picturesque lakes, magnificent temples, rich and varied wildlife, exquisite antiques and relics, make Warangal a perfect tourist destination and invite tourists from far and near to explore it.
How to Reach Warangal
By Air: Nearest international airport is located in Hyderabad, at a distance of 150 kms. Besides, there is an airstrip on the southern-eastern outskirts of Warangal.
By Train: Warangal is well-linked to all the important cities of India by rail. Just 13 kms from Warangal, Kazipet is a major railway junction on Chennai - New Delhi rail route. A train is the best way to reach Warangal, as there are a number of trains from all over the country that stop at the railway station throughout the day.
By Bus: Warangal is well-connected by roads with important cities of Andhra Pradesh and the nearby states. From Hyderabal, frequent buses ply to Warangal and if you make an early start, you can cover all the tourist attractions in a day-trip. APSRTC operate regular buses for Warangal from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Khammam, Bangalore , Mysore and Tirupati.
Local Transport: Auto-rickshaws are principal mode of local transport in Warangal. The easiest way to cover the tourist sites in Warangal is to rent a bicycle from one of the stalls on Station road.
Places Where You Can Stay
Limited but fine accommodation options are available at Warangal. All the hotels of Warangal provide a comfortable stay to guests. Some of the popular hotels of Warangal include Hotel Ashoka, Hotel Ratna, Hotel Shankar, Vijaya Lodge, Maheshwara Lodge, Radhika Lodge, Broadway Lodge etc.
Tourist Attractions in Warangal
Warangal Fort: Warangal Fort is located 2 km away from the Warangal railway station and 12 km from Hanamakonda. Built by the Kakatiya King - Ganapati Deva and his daughter Rani Rudramma, in the 13th century, the fort was destroyed by invaders many times and now only the ruins can be seen. Enter inside the fort through four massive Sanchi- type gateways, about 30 feet high and a masterpiece carved out from a single rock. Warangal fort had three layers of protection, the first layer is a mud wall, the second layer is a granite rock wall, remnants of which can be seen even today. Apart from these, see the exquisite pieces of sculpture too inside the fort complex.
Thousand Pillar Temple : Built by Rudra Deva in 1163 AD, the Thousand Pillar Temple offers a glimpse of the finest specimen of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture. Like other Chalukyan temples, this temple is star shaped and has triple shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. When you enter inside the temple, one thousand elegantly carved pillars, nicely perforated screes, picturesque icons, rock cut elephant sculptures and the monolithic black basalt Nandi bull, will surely take you back to a bygone era.
Bhadra Kali Temple: Bhadra Kali Temple is set on a hilltop between Warangal and Hanamkonda, on the banks of the Bhardrakali lake. Known for its stone idol of the Goddess Kali, the temple attracts large number of tourists and pilgrims as well.
Tourist Attractions Around Warangal
Pakhal Lake (50 kms) : Originally a man-made lake, the Pakhal Lake was built in the year 1213 A.D by the Kakatiya King, Ganapathidev. Pakhal Lake was made by harnessing a small tributary of the river Krishna and spreads over an area of 30 sq. kms. Around the lake, a wildlife sanctuary sprawling across 860 sq kms area and houses a variety of animals. Listen to the sounds of the tiger, leopard, bear, hyena, deer amidst the tranquil surroundings.
Ramappa Temple (74 kms) : Ramappa Temple also known as Ramalineswara Temple is situated around 74 kms away from Warangal at Palampet village. Built in 1213 A.D, the temple is one of the first specimen of the temple architecture of that period. A right choice for architecture lovers, the temple displays the glory and rich heritage of the Kakatiya kingdom. When you reach the temple complex, rich and intricate sculpture on walls, pillars, brackets and ceiling will totally mesmerize you. Another attraction is the nearby Ramappa lake.
Jain Temple (Kolandpark, 75 kms) : About 75 kms away from Warangal, at Kolanpak or Kolanupaka, there is a 2,000 year old Jain Temple dedicated to Lord Mahavir. Jain Temple of Kolandpark is a popular place of worship for Jains in the country. In the temple complex you will see the beautiful images of Jain Thirthankaras, highlight of the temple is the 5 feet high image of Mahavira, emtirely carved out of Jade.
Kolanupaka Museum (80 kms) : Close to the Jain Temple, at Kolanupaka there is museum established by the State Department of Archaeology and Museum. Here you can see the exquisite artifacts collected from several historical monuments in Kolanupaka.
Shopping in Warangal
Shopping in Warangal is a delightful experience and one should not miss it during the trip to the town. Warangal is known mainly for Lepakshi handicrafts, dharries, khadi items, brass materials, cheriyal scroll paintings and many other local items. Some of the famous shopping centres of Warangal are Khadi Gradmodyog Bhandar, DWRCA Bazaar and Hanamkonda.
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