Once the capital of Kakatiya kingdom, Warangal finds a mention in the travel diaries of Marco Polo. The city stands out for its beautiful lakes, temples and wildlife and is one of the largest cities of Andhra Pradesh.
Warangal fort is 12 km from Hanumakonda and it dates back to the 13th century. The fort was built by the Kakatiya king, Ganapati Deva and his daughter Rudramma. Though the main fort has been ravaged over time, the remains of the four huge stone gateways, similar to those of Sanchi, along with several exquisite pieces of sculpture can still be seen in and around the fort.
Warangal and Hanumakonda as legend goes are linked with the dynasties of Great ‘Vishnukundins’ and even prior to it also of the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist periods of Indian history. During eighth century AD, Warangal with an old name ‘Orukal’ has served as Capital City of Yadava king of the Kakatiyas or Ganapatis. The name of Warangal ‘Orugallu’ is said to be correct form of Orukal which is the original designation, the old town. After the fall of Bahamani Kingdom, Warangal fell to the ‘Qutab Shahis’ of Golkonda and thereafter it has came under the sway of Nizam’s domination.
Thus the city of Warangal has developed both under the political and historical influences of successive great kings.
The Pakhal Lake, located 50-Km away from Warangal, is surrounded by hills and forests. The place is marked for its serene and tranquil location. This lake was built in 1273 AD by the Kakatiya kings.
Warangal city covers an area of approximately 54.98 sq km and is situated at an altitude of 1,700 feet. It is one of the chief cities in Andhra Pradesh. The best season to be in Warangal is between September to February. The languages spoken and followed are Telgu, Hindi and English.
The local markets are full with handicrafts, embroidery sarees as well as silken products. The major entertainment here is cinema with so many theatres spread across the city showing south Indian films, besides Hindi and English movies.
IT activities in Warangal started in mid 90’s and the market is developing slowly and steadily. As the city has some extremist group influence, not many MNCs dared to venture into the market in the initial days. However, now, all the MNC and national brands are developing their base as home, SOHO and educational markets are growing here.
Today, there are more than 50 resellers in the market and assembled PCs have a great influence among the buyers.
Hyderabad market is the major source for Warangal.
Warangal has many temples in and around the city such as Sri Bhadrakali Devasthanam in Warangal town, Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Devasthanam in Komuravelli and Ayinavolu, Sri Sammakka Saralamma Jathra – Medaram, Sri Veera Bhadra Swamy Devasthanam – Kuravi, Sri Swayambu Temple (Fort Warangal), Sri Rudreswara Swamy Temple – Hanamkonda, Ramappa Temple (Palampet), Sri Someswara Laxminasasimha Swamy Temple – Palakurthy and Sri Ramachandra Swamy Temle in
Thousand Pillar Temple: This temple is a fine specimen of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture. It was built by Rudra Deva in 1163 AD in the style of Chalukyan temples, star shaped and triple shrine. The three shrines are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. The temple is famous for its richly carved pillars, screens and detailed sculpture. The black basalt Nandi, a monolith, has a lovely polished finish.
Bhadra Kali Temple: Set on a hilltop between Hanamkonda and Warangal, it is noted for its stone image of the Goddess Kali. She is depicted with eight arms and carries a weapon in each hand.
Warangal Fort: This fort was built during the 13th century by the Kakatiya ruler Ganapathi Deva and his daughter Rudramma. The remains of four massive stone gateways, similar to those of Sanchi and several exquisite pieces of sculpture can be seen.
Ramappa or Ramalingeswara Temple: This is situated in Palampet village at 70 km. from Warangal. This is a magnificent monument dating back to 1213 AD. It documents the glory and grandeur of the Kakatiya kingdom. Amongst the important and exquisite monuments of the State, the temple of Palampet, popularly known as Ramappa Temple. The Kakatiya kings reigned over Andhra Pradesh for about 200 years and were great builders and patrons of art. An inscription at the temple premises reads that the temple of Ramappa was built on behalf of the king, Kakati Ganapathi Deva by his chief commander Rudra Samani at a place called Ranakude in Atukuru province. The inscription conveys that there were three temples – Kateswara, Kameswara and Rudreswara – all dedicated to their chief deity Shiva. Shivalaya stands majestically on a six feet high star-shaped platform in a spacious compound amidst picturesque surroundings dotted with countless date palm trees. On the western side is the idyllic Ramappa lake constructed during the same period as the temple. The building of a temple and an irrigation tank side by side projects the tradition of the Kakatiya rulers. Kakati Ganapati Deva was a great patron of art and learning and Ramappa temple was his best contribution to the world of South Indian temple architecture.
Pakhal Lake: The tranquil Pakhal lake is situated 50 km. from Warangal, amidst peaceful forested hills. This is another man made lake, completed in 1213 AD by the Kakatiyas. Pakhal wildlife sanctuary sprawls over 90 acres around its shoreline.
Tigers, leopards, bears, hyenas, deers and other wildlife can be seen here. The season to visit Pakhal is between October and March.