Oru Gallu 2. Hanamkonda Temple & Warangal Fort

After attending the reception, which was the reason I was there in the first place, and after an absolutely fabulous Andhra meals, it was decided to go to the Thousand Pillars temple and the Warangal Fort. This time some of my team mates joined as well.

The driver who was to drop us mentioned that the 'Thousand pillar temple' and the Warangal Fort are the same. Gullible as we are, we accepted and decided to look into the 'Thousand pillar temple' first.

Thousand pillar temple, Hanamkonda

The Thousand pillar temple in Hanamkonda actually has only about 600 pillars. The mandapa with 400 more pillars has been dismantled and is being 'worked' by the ASI in the premises.
The temple from the back

Front view
 It is better to not describe the state of the temple as it is very poorly maintained. I think we need to make up our mind whether we want to treat this one as our heritage or as a place of worship. ASI is trying to do both and fails miserably.
Engraved pillars

Upper ceiling
The temple lies in the middle of the Hanamkonda city and thus is crowded with local worshippers. After the Ramappa temple, this one is very similar but has more damage to the interior and exterior of the temple.

The temple sits on a raised star shaped platform and has all the hallmarks that defines the Chalukyan style. The pillars are closely built on the temple and walls and so is difficult to count. There is a big Nandi on the outside and the pillars are all intricately built.

Only a few panel sculptures are left

Flower motif on outer wall panels

All around the temple there are ruins and remnants of the work ASI is doing. There is no way to find what the temple is about and the activity that goes on. The temple panels are almost damaged 100% , probably by invadors of the past and most of the sculptures are defaced as well.

The inner sanctum has three moorthis, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Surya. Not sure why Brahma was missed out. There is worship going on with all the usual damages our temples undergo by crowds. The Nandi is covered in manjal and Kungumam and it is difficult to make out the intricate designs on the Nandi by looking at it.
Temple kulam

There is enough crowd coming to the temple and it is just a matter of streamlining and making sure the worship happens without damage to the temple and also the sculptures and the pillars are all maintained with restricted access to the worshippers.

Warangal Fort

After the disappointment that was the Hanamkonda temple, we inquired around and took an auto to the Warangal fort. The fort is about 7 KM away and for 100Rs the autowalla took 5 of us there. Inconceivable in Chennai!

After moving away from the city, the first sign of the fort is the ruined outer walls in the middle of the fields that comes into view. Once past that, the fort ruins are fenced off and can be entered through the gate which is manned a watchman. 
Panaromic view of the ruins

The Kakatiya Thorana

The place seems to be popular as when we were there, we can see multiple school trips happening with more tourists and locals. But the fort itself is in complete ruins.

The first thing that strikes the eye once you enter the complex is the Thorana style entrances which would've adorned the four entrances of the fort. They are huge, intricate in workmanship and looks so beautiful they basically take away focus from the rest of the fort.

The ruins are suppose to be the remnants of 3 temples and the fort itself along with other parts of the dwelling areas. The fort was supposed to have been completed during the reign of Rani Rudramma Devi and was laid to waste by invaders during the decline of the Kakatiyas. 
And laid to waste it was in a complete fashion, as there is precious few parts remaining of the above said temples and there are only pieces of stone left for the other areas. The size of the thoranas or the entrances should've saved them from destruction. It was heart-wrenching to imagine the beauty of the fort itself would've been before destruction. 

The fort is huge and need a lot of time for a complete exploration to be done, if you are interested. We spent about an hour and since it was nearing the time for the next train.

Again another auto for 125Rs and checked out of the hotel for the Kazipet station. The station is a bit far from where I stayed and boarded the Satavahana express for the next destination, Vijayawada.      

The Girl with a smile and a Turkey shooter

The Q train runs from the 96th Avenue till the Coney Island . I was waiting for it in the 34th Street - Herald Square station. Four lines ...