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Temples Of India: Thousand Pillar Temple, Telangana

Temples Of India: Thousand Pillar Temple, Telangana

access_time January 13, 2016 chat_bubble_outline 0 comments 2547 views

Every temple narrates a story; sometimes through the motifs on its walls, and sometimes through its ruins.

Our series on the Temples of India aims to bring forth their stories, in the hope that you witness their magnificence in person some day….

 

The Thousand Pillar Temple

 

A panoramic view of the Thousand Pillar Temple, Rajib Ghosh;Flickr

A panoramic view of the Thousand Pillar Temple, Rajib Ghosh;Flickr

The Thousand Pillar temple recently completed 850 years of existence, and is considered to be one of the greatest legacies of Kakatiya kings. The once abandoned temple regained attention after a local citizen, Gangu Upendra Sharma, took the initiative to conduct daily Poojas at the temple. The locals and tourists witnessed this, and ultimately the government sanctioned Rs. 3 crore for its restoration.

Today, the beautiful temple stands as a reminder of the rich culture and heritage that once belonged to the Kakatiya kingdom.

 

Why It Deserves A Visit

An epitome of peace and calm, the Thousand Pillar temple is one of the oldest temples in Andhra Pradesh. The word ‘ancient’ generally misleads people into conjuring up images of ruins, but not this temple! Till date, it stands strong in all its glory attracting visitors from across the globe. As a tourist enters the temple complex, he is greeted with the sight of lush gardens encircling, which is nothing short of spectacular. With numerous ornately carved pillars, delicate smokescreens, brilliant stonework and detailed and elaborate sculptures; this is one ancient masterpiece you just should not miss.

 

Visitors can be seen walking around the temple; Kamal Venkit, flickr

Visitors can be seen walking around the temple; Kamal Venkit, flickr

Under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India, the Thousand Pillar temple has flourished, and is today regarded as one of the most well-preserved temples in India. To make it more accessible and attractive, the government plans to build a 100-feet wide road that leads up to it, along with some light and sounds shows.

 

How It Originated

This temple was built in 1163 AD, by King Rudradev during the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty. It was intially named Sri Rudreshwar Swamy Temple, after the presiding deity here. Other than Lord Rudreshwar, the temple complex also houses the shrines of Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya.

 

A detailed look at the intricately caved pillars; Kamal Venkit;Flickr

A detailed look at the intricately caved pillars; Kamal Venkit; Flickr

 

Its Intriguing Design

It’s simply astounding to see numerous big and small pillars come together to form a stunning parapet. Built in the shape of a star, the temple stands on a platform of about 1 metre, and is home to several shrines and lingams. The three shrines inside the temple are called the Trikutalayam, and are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya. Rest of the small shrines and lingams are positioned at the gardens that surround the temple. The entrance is adorned with two grand elephants that invite you into a world filled with elaborate carvings, delicate screens and sculptures. The three shrines inside the temple are connected by a ‘Rang Mandaap’. The ‘Navarangal Mandap’, which houses the sculptures of Lord Indra is elaborately decorated with intricate carvings that stretch across the ceiling and the central pillars. Another must-see attraction here is the neatly carved monolithic black, basalt figure of Shiva’s sacred bull, Nandi.

Fact File

Location

  • The temple is located near the Hanamkonda-Warangal Highway, about 150 kms from Hyderabad city and just 10 kms from Warangal, Andhra Pradesh

How To Get There

  • By Road: Catch a APSRTC (state-owned road transport corporation) or a private bus that connects Warangal with Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Karimnagar, Khamman, etc
  • By Air: The nearest airport is in Hyderabad, about 157 kms away
  • By Rail: Warangal Railway station, which is well connected to most of the major India cities

Best Time To Visit

  • From October to March

Festivals To Watch Out For

  • Maha Shivaratri
  • Ganesha Festival
  • Karthika Poornima
  • Nagula Chaviti
  • Kankuma Pooja
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Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings is the longest established tours and travels company in the world. Established in 1758, we are headquartered in Mumbai with a presence in over 13 countries worldwide. Our services include destination management, domestic and international holiday packages, luxury travel, business and MICE, NRI and foreign exchange solutions, as well as insurance.

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