February 14 and 15, 2014
All rooms at our hotel in Hyderabad had been booked for
February 14, probably for weddings. Therefore we had planned to make an
overnight trip to Warrangal, about 150 Kilometers (93 Miles) to the northeast
The highway to Warrangal passed through an area dotted
hills of various sizes and shapes.
A view of the way from Hyderabad to
On the way we made a brief stop at the village of Kulpakji.
From several Jain antiquities discovered in the area, it has been an important
Jain center from the 9th though the 12th century.
|King Bharat Chakravarti's (R) Statue|
It is believed that the current temple was built around a
2,000-year-old Jain shrine, which according to a legend the temple was built by
king Bharat Chakravarti. Encased in a
glass enclosure, the king's statue stands in the Temple courtyard.
|Poster in the Temple Office|
But none of the devotees I talked to knew the story. And the employee at the temple office just drew my attention to the poster on a wall, which related the story in Hindi.
The temple continues to attract manydevotees. Recently renovated, it has several Jain Tirthankar idols.
The 52-inch tall, green colored idol of Lord Mahavira is said to be made of a
single piece of jade (sapphire, according to some).
A street of Wrrangal, Andhra Pradesh
Located in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, and
the state's fifth largest city, Warrangal is a busy town. Agriculture being the
mainstay of the area's economy, it is reputed to be Asia's second largest grain
Once the capital of Kakatiya dynasty, its imposing fort,
massive stone gateways, and striking temples bear testimony to the city's
splendor in the medieval times. Picturesque lakes add to its majesty.
Fort, Warrangal, AP
The 13th century fort was built by Kakatiya king Ganapati
Deva and his daughter Rudramma. The fort's ruins are spread over a large area.
Park Entrance, Warrangal, AP
Across the road is a recreation park.
|Lake inside the Park, Warrangal, AP|
Inside the park a
lake is there for boating and swimming.
A hill looms over the park, which is reached by a series
of several steps.
|Hill in the Park|
A temple stand on the top of the hill. It is not a
functioning temple, and its lingam has been moved to another temple.
Besides the temple there is a watch tower.
A fresco of lions and elephants surrounds the top
fringe of the outside wall of the watchtower.
|Fresco of lions and elephants|
Next we went to the Bhadrakali
Temple. Located on the banks of the man-made Bhadrakali Lake, it is one of the
oldest temples of Bhadrakali goddess, in India. Built in the 7th century,
unlike other temples, its pillars are square.
The approach to the temple
is lined with large images of Goddess Kali.
|Bhadrakali Temple, Warrangal, AP|
Images of various manifestations of Goddess
Kali, Warrangal, A.P.
Then we proceeded to the 12th century Thousand Pillar
Temple, near the slopes of the Hanamlonda Hill.Built on a raised platform, this star-shaped temple consists of shrines dedicated to Shiva,
Vishnu and Surya. The shrines are arranged around a central hall.
|Thousand Pillars Temple, Warrangal, AP|
|Thousand Pillars Temple, Warrangal, AP|
It is known for its many richly
Carved from a single block of
granite, Nandi sits in front.
Monolithic granite Nandi, Thousand Pillar
Temple, Warrangal, AP
A large, pillared Mandapa lies in ruins behind Nandi.
Mandapa, Thousand Pillar Temple, Warrangal,
By now we were tired from the road trip from Hyderabad, and day-long
sightseeing. We headed to our hotel for dinner and
After breakfast, next morning, we made our way back to
Hyderabad. On reaching Hyderabad, we went straight to the city center, where
Kundan wanted to do some shopping.
Kundan shopping for shalwar suits near Char
Minar, Hyderabad, AP
While she looked for what she wanted to buy, I headed for
the iconic Char Minar to take some pictures.
Char Minar, Hyderabad, AP
Built in 1591 by the Qutub Shahi dynasty ruler, Mohammed
Quli, the founder of Hyderabad. About 49 meter (160 ft) tall structure, it is a
graceful and magnificent piece of architecture. Nearby is the large Mecca
Masjid, so named because the bricks to build its central arch had been brought
Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad, AP
Hyderabad is the capital and the largest city of the
Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Also known as the City of Pearls for its trade
in pearls, it is a large industrial and commercial center. Its streets,
especially around Char Minar overflow with traffic.
(Above & Below) Traffic in Char Minar area of Hyderabad, AP
After shopping, and lunch, we went to Hyderabad's famous
Salar Jung Museum.
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, AP
The museum is home to a large collection of antiques from
around the world by Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III. Exhibited in 40 galleries,
its collection includes manuscripts, Mughal miniature paintings, Hindu,
Buddhist and Western sculptures, royal swords and daggers, Persian carpets,
Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquer-ware, jade and glass objects, metal works,
Mir Tirab Ali Khan,
Salar Jung I (1829-1883)
An Arabic manuscript
After the Museum, we went for a drive around Lumbini Park
and Hussain Sagar lake. Located besides the Hussain Sagar lake, the park consists
of boating facilities, gardens, musical fountains and a laser auditorium. It
was constructed in 1994.
In 1992, a large monolithic statute of Lord Buddha was
erected on a man-made island in the middle of Hussain Sagar Lake.
Lord Buddha statue, Hussain Sagar Lake,
Then we proceeded to our hotel, to prepare for our flight
to Mumbai, next day. Two days later, on February 18, we were scheduled to
depart for USA.