Warangal has historical importance, as it used to be the capital of the Kakatiya Kingdom. Today, the region is a hub for culture and industries, but it has not forgotten its historical legacy. It is claimed that the city of Warangal was built by Proja Raja in the 12th century and it was made into the capital of the kingdom. During the 200-year long reign, the Kakatiya Kingdom erected grand monuments and temples that form a major attraction of this place. Even the diary of Marco Polo mentions the city of Warangal for its beautiful architecture and exquisite monuments.
The local community is agrarian, cultivating cotton, rice, red chillies and tobacco. The city also famous for its granite quarries and there is a great demand from other states for Warangal granite. The main attractions of the city are its fort and a star-shaped temple, but it has a lot to offer discerning travellers.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport Hyderbad is 157 kms away. It is a three and half hour drive to Warangal from Hyderabad.
Warangal is connected by rail to major towns.
Warangal is connected by good roads to Hyderbad, Rajahmundhry and Vishakhapatnam all in Andhra Pradesh.
WHAT TO SEE
The fort is located about 12 kilometres from Hanamkonda in Warangal. It was constructed during the reign of Kakatiya Dynasty, in the 13th century. Although today the fort is in ruins, it was renowned for its impregnability. The remnants of the fort comprise of tall towers of nearly 50 feet each and an awe-inspiring gateway. The pillars of the gateway appear to have been cut from a single block of rock. On entering the gateway, visitors will be welcomed by some beautiful sculptures and motifs of lions and swans.
Thousand Pillar Temple:-
This historic temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya. It is located in the town of Hanamkonda, which is close to the city of Warangal. The Thousand Pillar Temple was constructed during the reign of Kakatiya Dynasty in 1163 AD. It is believed that King Rudra Deva was instrumental in getting this temple constructed. It is a fine specimen of Kakatiya architecture that was prevalent during the 12th century AD. The temple was destroyed when the Muslim Tughlaq Dynasty invaded the region.
As the name suggests, the Bhadrakali Temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali and it is considered to be one of the oldest temples to honor the Goddess. It is located on the banks of Lake Bhadrakali, between Warangal and Hanamkonda. The temple’s unique design is a major attraction. It is shaped like a star. The deity housed in sanctum is made on a 2.7 X 2.7 metre stone and depicts the Goddess with beautiful eyes looking west, and holding weapons in all her eight hands, with Lord Shiva under her feet. Opposite the sanctum there is an idol of the lion, which the Goddess used to move around.
Ramappa Temple is located about 77 kilometres from Warangal and 157 kilometres from Hyderabad. This medieval temple is dedicated Lord Shiva and is named after the sculptor who built the temple. The temple is constructed on a star-shaped platform and there are spellbinding carvings lining the pillars, walls and ceiling. One can see figures from the Hindu mythology sculpted here. The bricks used to build the roof of the temple are so light that it is claimed they can float in water. There is a huge Nandi bull located in front of the shrine.
The main shopping areas in Warangal are Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium, Subedari, DCWRA Bazaar and Hanumakonda. Brass ware and scroll paintings are the must-buy items from here.
For authentic brass ware visit Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium that is popular for its brass products including betel nut cases, and Ittar (perfume) pots. There are various designs embossed onto brass pots, dishes and paper weights, including the beautiful peacock motif that make for excellent souvenirs to take back home.
The best places to eat out in Warangal would be at roadside dhabas or small restaurants that generally offer scrumptious South Indian fare. Andhra Pradesh is renowned for its hot and spicy cuisine and the spiciness is evident in both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes served in the restaurants in Warangal as well.
Mango pickle is considered a delicacy in the region and is served with both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes at most of the restaurants in Warangal. Gram Powder, used as a garnish, adds a peculiar taste and aroma to the local cuisine.
Non-vegetarians may like to savour the delicious Hyderabadi Biriyani that includes a lot of ghee as a flavouring agent.