Thousand Pillar Temple

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India >> Andhra Pradesh >> Warangal >> Attractions >> Thousand Pillar Temple

Thousand Pillar Temple

History

The Thousand Pillar Temple of Warangal is built in the form of a star with one thousand ornately carved pillars, and reflects the splendour of the Chalukya kings. Built in a typical Chalukyan style of architecture by King Rudra Deva in 1163 A.D., the temple constitutes of three concentric shrines, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya.

The Thousand Pillar Temple has been built at the base of the Hanamkonda hill. As the name suggests, there are one thousand intricately carved pillars of wide range and different sizes. The pillars of the main temple are firmly interwoven and form its parapet. Apart from the ornately carved pillars, the temple also has delicate smokescreens, brilliant stonework, and detailed and elaborate sculptures that will leave you enthralled.

The combination of the three shines of the temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Surya is known as Trikutalayam. Of the three shrines, Shiva's shrine has been positioned facing the east while other shrines face south and west. This was so, because the Kakatiyas were great devotees of Lord Shiva and wanted early morning sun rays to fall directly on Shiva Lingam.

On the fourth side of the Thousand Pillar Temple is Shiva’s sacred bull, Nandi. It has been carved out of a monolithic black stone, which is an impressive piece of art. Adding to its exclusivity, the Nandi in the Thousand Pillar Temple faces east, unlike most Nandis in Indian temples that face west. Enclosed within these four corners is the ‘Natya Mandapam’ where dancers performed. The pillars that support this innermost chamber of the temple are large and made of multiple blocks of stone.

Several small shrines devoted to the lingam, i.e. Lord Shiva, enclose the huge lawn of the Thousand Pillar Temple. Neatly carved rock-cut elephants built on both the sides of the temple entrance are wonderful icons. Presently, the temple is being sustained by the Archaeological Survey of India which has recognised it as one of the protected monuments.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Thousand Pillar Temple is during the winter months of October to March when the weather is pleasant in Warangal.

Trivia

Interestingly, the third deity of the temple is Surya, and not Brahma who is a part of the Hindu Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva), as the Kakatiyas did not worship Brahma much.

Timing

The temple remains open for the public between 6:00 am – 8:00 pm.




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