Warangal Fort & Ek Shilla Temple

Warangal, locally is known as "OruKallu" ("Oru" means One, and "Kallu" means rock/stone thus Onestone). The city is said to be built on a single rock and thus got this name. This city is 145 km away from Hyderabad and is well connected by road and train.
Warangal was once the capital of Kakatiya dynasty who reigned between 12-14th century. I took morning train around 8:05 AM from Secunderabad and reached Warangal station around 10:30 AM. The first important place to visit is "Warangal Fort" it is just 20 min away from railway station by auto rickshaw, from station catch a share auto upto Post Office (Rs5, 5 min) from there another share auto directly to Fort (Rs 7, around 15 min), altogether a 20min traveling.

Warangal Fort is built during Kakatiyas dynasty by King Ganapati Deva in the 13th Century. The fort wall boundary is spread around 19km in circular shape and in the center is what lays the ruined remains of "Swayambu Devalayam" temple which boasts one of the most beautiful sculptures in India. This Devalayam is surrounded by four tall gateway carved out of stone and with not less then 50 feet in height is situated in four direction securing this place and are usually called "Keerti Toranas", shown in the first pic. The area is declared "Archeological Site" and is well maintained (excavation is still going on there). Entrance fee is Rs 5 for Indians and Rs 100 for Non-Indians, video will be charged extra 25 but photo shoot is free.

As you can see in this pic most of the sculptures are ruined.This is shot from the entrance gate. Most of the sculptures are made out of single stone and that too at minute level which is incredible and hard to be seen in other temples of the southern part. Hardly there is any idol, statue or sculpture left which is in complete shape. The main attraction of this area is the four surrounding tall wall sculpture and the Shiva temple in the middle. Savisim was the major religion followed during this dynasty and thus you will find plenty of Shiva temples then any of other god in the city.

I was amazed by the intricacy of each carve, that too made out of single stone and with such a miniature details. Most of the carves are following a similar pattern where each single stone logically divided into several section and each of those section occupies different sculptures like lion, elephant, dancing idols etc.in series

This same set of patterns can be seen in other temples, structures built in this city like Ramappa Temple, Thousand Pillar temple etc. Another important thing to note in these sculptures are that each of the carve in the same section/series will have a different look or in different shape/pose, as you can see the pic on the top these all dancing sculptures are in different pose no matter how many are there but all will be different, that too made out of a single stone.

On the left side from the entrance is the Shiva Temple with a big Nandi (his transporter) facing him. You wont see Shiva temple without Nandi idol built in front of either Shiv Linga or temple in all case it will be there facing the Shiv Linga, interestingly in this city probably in all Shiva temple though Nandi idol is there but his head will not be straight in position facing the Shiva Linga but slightly bend towards his right shoulder i.e. in alert position. Another fact is, usually here Nandi idols are built quit big as compared to other temples in southern part of India. 

At present no Puja's (Prayers in Hindu religion way) is being done in this temple. Pic on the left side is of Nandi Idol just in front of the Shiva Temple. Its hard to say or I haven't seen so far anywhere in web depicting how this place would have looked at that time. We don't have any brochures or any guide available in this area but at least I saw one photographer with his portable Canon photo printer (Instant photo, thanks to affordable photo printers) trying to make his business (see closely the temple pic above, photographer is standing on the right side of the pic in white shirt). 

Between the Shiva temple and the Nandi idol is a platform built  surrounded by four beautiful pillars carved out of single stone (shown on the right pic), I believe this might be the place where musician or Nrityangana's (classical dancer's) performs before the actual prayers starts. I see the same sort of platform in Rammapa temple inside the temple just in front of Shiv Linga and is common in Hindu methodology during King's arena.

Few walks away out side this temple is another temple "Ekshilla Temple", its also a park. The temple is built on top of a small single mountain thus got its name "Ek Shilla Temple" ("Ek" means One, "Shilla" means mountain). Surrounding the mountain is one man made lake. The steps to the top of the mountain is carved onto itself and thus will find it slippery, the hand support fence I believe is latter built by State Gov. The temple is currently not in running state. 

I still had few hours left so thought to cover one more place, the "Bhadrakali Temple" a famous devi temple and said to be 250 years old and is situated between the tween city of Hanamkonda and Warangal. A must visit place, the actual temple is built on mountain rock, later I think its extended over it by bricks just like the modern temples.

Its already 4 pm now so I headed to lodge myself and thought to plan for next day to "Ramappa Temple". You have plenty of lodges around bus stand Hanamkonda. I chose one of them, costed me Rs 150 single bed, not much decent but sufficient for an bachelor, you can get double bed room for Rs 250 with AC. Between the railway station and Hanamkonda city lies "Bhadrakali Temple" and the "Thousand Pillar" temple only few minutes apart from each other thus can be plan to cover in a single day.

Few stand alone sculptures, as said none of them are in complete state, but has enough to show how magnificent it is.

See complete pics at



Awesome blog. I have been to warangal many times. Such abeautiful and historical place. lovef it a lot.

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