Thousand Pillars Temple
The Thousand Pillars TempleThousand Pillars Temple is situated in Hanamakonda town, near Warangal, in Telangana region. It is a temple which hasa rich cultural heritage. It is believed that this temple was constructed in 1163 AD by King Rudradeva of the Kakatiya kingdom.The temple is built on the slopes of Hanamakonda hills on 1 meter high platform. Also known as Rudreshwara Temple, it is said that the builders took 72 years to construct this marvel.The star-shaped temple is built in Chalukya style of art and comprises of three shrines which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya. Because of this, the central complex of the temple came to be known as Trikutalayam.
This architecture marvel was designed by the Vishwakarma sculptors from Kakatiyan dynasty. As the name suggests, there are 1000 pillars which are intricately carved of wide ranges and different sizes. The walls of the temple too have an exquisite design, which makes one spellbound of the quality of artwork that existed during those days, when technology did not even exist. The temple also consists of brilliant stonework which will leave you enthralled. The dance platform “Natya Mandapam” which is viewed from any direction of the central complex is a phenomenon. Most interesting fact of the temple is that though there are thousand pillars but they are made in such a way that the view of one shrine is not blocked by the other one.
At the entrance of the temple, you will find a monolith statue of ‘Nandi Bull’ carved out from black basalt, which was used as raw material for excellent finishing. It measures 6 feet in height and has chiselled garlands and ornaments. Unlike most Nandis in the Indian temples facingwest, 1000 pillars Nandi faces east. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple whose idol is placed in Garib Graha or Sanctum Sanctorum as Kakatiyas were true worshipper of Lord Shiva. They wanted early morning rays of the sun to directly fall on the Shiva Lingam. So to make it happen, Shiva’s shrine was faced towards east and rest of the two shrines of Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya ware facing towards south and west respectively.
As you enter the main hall, you will find an idol of Lord Ganesha which is 5 feet tall, towards the left hand side and you will also see four magnificently carved pillars supporting the Natya Mandapam. These pillars have multiple designs about 2 to 30 centimeters long on the perimeter of circular pillar. The Kakatiyas symbol, ‘Kalisam’, can be seen one after another on each pillar. The sculpture of Lord Indra with his Airavata is remarkable piece of Kakatiya’s art and the Lord Narasimha’s sculpture at the entrance of the north shrine is also a masterpiece. The Elephant structure cut of the big rocks and perforated screens with holes, speak about the richness of Chalukyan’s architecture.
When the Tughlaq dynasty attacked South India, they destroyed this temple. Currently, there are no pillars in the temple. Archaeologists removed these pillars to renovate the Kalyana Mandapam that was crumbling. When the pillars were lifted, they encountered a huge mass of wet sand which was accumulated due to pipe connection from a nearby local water body called Bhadrakali Cheruvu. However, Nandi and other shrines are still intact. This temple, in local language, is also called as “Kakatiyula Veyi Stambhamula Devalayam”.
Best Time to Visit:October to March
Temple remains open for public between 6AM to 8PM every day.
TransportationHyderabad is the nearest airport which is around 160 km away from this temple and is well connected to all the major cities of India and other parts of the world.
Warangal is the nearest railway stationand is well connected by trains with all the other major cities of India.
APSRTC and various private travels operate regular buses which ply to Warangal from all the major neighbouring cities including Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam.
In case of local transport, the easily available means of transport, to move around the city are taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.