Sunday, February 25, 2024

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Thousand Pillar Temple




Hanamakonda, Andhra Pradesh



One of the very old temples of South India built by the Kakatiyas.

Best Time to Visit


March - April

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The Thousand Pillar Temple is a popular pilgrimage center, where thousands of devotees of all faith come here to pay their homage. It is located in the town of Hanamakonda, Telangana State. This historic Hindu temple constitutes of three shrines called the Trikutalayam, where the presiding deities are Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya.

The Thousand Pillar Temple is one of the very old temples of South India built by the Kakatiyas.

Built in unique 'Trikootalaya' style of Kakatiyas, it stands out to be a masterpiece and one of the best examples of Kakatiyan architectural genius. Built in 1163 A.D. by a Kakatiyan ruler, Rudradev, it was named after him as Sri Rudreshwara Swamy Temple.

The temple was destroyed by the Tughlaq dynasty during their invasion of South India. But, despite being destroyed, it stands testimony to the best architectural styles of the Kakatiyan dynasty and an important tourist place of Warangal city.

Relatively a small temple, as compared to historic Dravidian temples, it is constructed on the slopes of the Hanumakonda hill, on a 1 metre high platform. It is a star-shaped temple surrounded by a big garden in which many small shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva can be seen.

Outside the temple entrance, one can see a sculpture of 'Nandi' the holy bull of Lord Shiva, carved out of a black basalt monolith that has been highly polished. The temple is supported by the richly carved out pillars. As the name of the temple reflects there are one thousand intricately carved pillars in this temple, but no pillar obstructs a person in any point of the temple to see the diety. The pillars are intricately carved and adorned. Rock-cut elephants and perforated screens in the temple are characteristic of the then prevailing dynasty. It is also a popular location for shooting films. The Kakatiya festival is held here. The temple was renovated in 2004 by the Government of India.

There is big mandapam on the other side of the temple which is dismantled by Archealogical Survey of India (ASI). ASI assured that the mandapam will be re-arranged. Also there used to be water pond on the left side of the temple which is now converted to grass lawn.

The exterior wall of the temple, the celling slabs and the four central pillars of the navarangal mandap are decorated with finely carved sculptures of the deities.

One interesting fact is, the temparature inside the temple is always cool. One should feel cool even on the hottest summer days and it is beleived that this because of the special soft wet sand used at the foundation level which is connected to the nearby water body named Bhadrakali Cheruvu through a pipe connection and also due to the heavy use of granite structure.

Note: Photography is not allowed inside.