Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Warangal Fort - Marvelous Architectural Masterpieces - A Video:
I have been to Warangal a number of times but could not visit Warangal Fort, though I was aware of its greatness. The main reason is that my visits to Warangal have been of very short duration and during these trips, I could visit only Bhadrakali Temple and 1000 Pillar Temple.
Better late than never, I have finally visited Warangal Fort along with my wife very recently and we are thrilled, fascinated and happy with the visit.
I hope the following write-up, attached photographs and the video will convey to you the greatness of this Fort and the awesome sculptural and architectural beauty that we could witness here, though much of it is in ruins now.
Warangal Fort was built in the 13th century by the Kings of Kakatiya Dynasty. It was constructed by King Ganapatideva and later by his daughter Rani Rudrama. Warangal Fort is symbolic of the historical opulence of the region during the reign of Kakatiya Kingdom. It was built as King Ganapatideva shifted the capital of the Kakatiya kingdom from Hanamkonda to Warangal. This Fort stands 12 km away from Hanamkonda. After Ganapatideva, his daughter Rani Rudrama, who took over the Kakatiya reign, looked after the completion of this Fort. Later King Prataparudra II who was also known as Rudradeva II, the last ruler of Kakatiya Kingdom, also made a considerable addition to Warangal Fort.
The Fort is located on the southeastern side of Warangal city. It is a prominent landmark of Telangana State, presenting a perfect example of architectural excellence and historical richness. Built in three layers of fortification ensuring absolute safety, Warangal Fort impresses every visitor with its imposing structure. Although now in ruins, the remains of the Fort still present a glimpse of the mesmerizing craftsmanship and breathtaking artistry that can be seen in the motifs, sculptures, stonework, etc. Warangal Fort has witnessed many battles and destruction and several parts of it have been deliberately destroyed by various anti-Hindu invaders.
A visit to Warangal Fort is sure to leave you fascinated with the gracefulness of its architecture and brilliance though it is mostly in ruins. The remains of the Fort have been recognized as monuments of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India, which is now taking care of the site.
This Fort withstood many attacks, which led to the destruction of its various parts. In 1309, Malik Kafur who was the general of Alauddin Khilji had launched an attack on the Fort. An army consisting of around 100,000 men attacked the Fort in a battle that lasted for many months. The Fort was then defended by King Prataparudra II and his army. Later, many times, Warangal Fort was attacked by the Sultans of Delhi as well.
Eventually, the Qutub Shahi Dynasty took the control of this Fort, later it was under the rule of Hyderabad Nizams.
No discussion about Warangal Fort is complete without mention of its structural beauty. Warangal Fort presents glorious architecture. The Fort consisted of around 45 towers/pillars built over a diameter of about 12.5 km.
However, today only the central part of the Fort which has been recognized as an Archaeological Zone is there for us to see in detail. This area of Warangal Fort has four Ornamental Gates which originally formed the gates to the destroyed great Shiva Temple within. These four Main Gates are impressively carved into 30 feet high - massive pillared arches built out of single rock. These Gates are known as Kakatiya Kala Thoranams or Warangal Gates. The architectural feature of these historical arches of the Warangal Fort has been adopted as the symbol of the Kakatiya Dynasty and has been officially incorporated as the Emblem of Telangana State. Most of the Warangal Fort photos present a glimpse of this section of the Fort. Here you can see the ruins of Shiva Temple. You can also see wall slabs, entrance pillars, ceiling panels, a relic of the mihrab, many small shrines, etc. The main deity of the temple, Shiva Lingam with four faces of Lord Shiva has been kept in a shrine towards the southern complex of the Fort. Regular prayers are offered to the Lord at the new shrine. Within the Fort complex, one can also find ponds and various small temples. These remains offer an insight into the Fort structure and of the Kakatiya era. Inscriptions on the pillars and the walls also speak about the period during the reign of Kakatiya Kings.
Warangal Fort and the huge arches – Kakatiya Kala Thoranams are included in the "Tentative List" of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At a distance of 490 feet from the Archaeological Zone is the Kush Mahal, which is a Public Hall built in the 14th century by the Delhi Sultans, who had captured the Fort. The Mahal, which is rectangular in shape, is built with huge sloping walls, sliced by six arched openings on each of its sides. There was once a timber roof over this Mahal, supported by five transverse arches built of stones. There are approach steps on the northeast corner that provide access to the top of the structure, which has scenic views of the entire Fort Complex.
Attached are pictures and video of the ‘Fort - Archeological Zone’ and the adjacent ‘Kush Mahal’.
I have also provided pictures of the “Introduction Sign Boards” placed at these Sites for further information.
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Sunday, March 17, 2019
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019
RAMAPPA TEMPLE, PALAMPET – A VIDEO, with
LINGASHTAKAM and BILVASHTAKAM:
Ancient Temples all over the country are named after one of the several names of the presiding deity and sometimes in conjunction with the name of that place. But Ramappa Temple, situated in Palampet village, 77 Km from Warangal city is an exception. Here Lord Shiva’s; Sri Ramalingeshwara Swamy Temple is named after its chief sculptor Ramappa, a Vishwakarma Brahmin Stapathi. The name ‘Ramappa Temple’ has been in existence for eight centuries and is a great honour for this artisan and his community. The Vishwakarma Brahmins are a community of five castes, who have adopted engineering, art, and architecture professions, they comprise of Goldsmiths, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Sculptors, and Metal (Brass) craftsmen. Lord Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of these craftsmen and architects. Vishwakarma is the Son of Brahma and is the divine craftsman of the whole universe. He is the official builder of all Gods palaces and he is also the designer of all the chariots of the Gods and their weapons.
Ramappa temple is now in the care and control of Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The ‘Board of introduction’ put up by ASI at the entrance of the Temple and reproduced by me in the attached photographs reads as follows: “This is one of the beautiful Temples of Kakatiya period built by Racherla Rudra, a General of Kakatiya Ganapati Deva. According to a contemporary record this Temple was built in 1213 A.D. The Temple stands on a raised platform with the Garbhagriha, an Antarala, and Maha Mandapa with lateral porched entrances on three sides. The main entrance faces east. The Garbhagriha contains a black Basalt Shiva Linga installed on a high pedestal. Inside, over the ceiling of the central Ankana one finds a magnificent display of sculptures depicting scenes from Ramayana, Shiva Purana and other mythological narratives. The striking peculiarity of the building lies in the arrangement of bracket figures above the Kakshasana level decorated with slender, graceful Madanikas, Nagins etc., in different poses. The other units within the Prakara are an imposing Nandi Mandapa, Kameswara and Kateswara Shrines”.
This huge and beautiful Temple stands on a six feet high platform. And the height of the Temple might be around fifty feet. The imposing Shiva Lingam inside the Temple is made of black Basalt. Some bricks used in the construction are said to be so light that they can float on water. As can be seen in the above photographs the Nandi of nine feet height outside the main temple and the pillars and other sculptures/carvings inside the temple are intact. The outer side of the Temple which is exposed to Sun and rain for over 800 years looks slightly worn out.
Daily Poojas are performed here and Maha Shivarathri is celebrated over three days. Few devotees from nearby places and some tourists visiting the Bhadrakali temple and the Thousand pillars temple at Warangal visit the Ramappa temple and the nearby Ramappa Lake.
We are thrilled and happy with our visits to the Ramappa Temple. I wish this ancient and grand Temple is made popular by the State tourism department so that more people may come and see it and feel proud of our history and the caliber of our ancestors in constructing such a marvellous Temple, 806 years ago!
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Wish You All A Very Happy Holi! May It Be More Brighter, And Colourful, Than The Following Video!