Friday, December 25, 2015

Warangal Fort

Location: Fort Rd, Warangal, Telangana 506002, India
The fort of Warangal referred to as Orugallu, Orumgallu or Ekasilanagaram in the inscriptions and literature rose to prominence, when it was the capital of Kakatiya kingdom during the reign of Ganapati Deva Maharaja (1199-1261).

Warangal Fort is one of the main attractions of warangal due to its heritage significance. The fort is spread across 19 km between warangal and hanamkonda.

It has seven concentric fortifications, with the inner stone fortification containing 45 bastions and gateways at the four cardinal points, and signifies essence of early medieval defence architecture. The remains of Swayambhu temple complex enclosed by four lofty toranas and the Kush mahal or the Shitab Khan mahal.

Kush Mahal(Shitab Khan Palace): This rectangular palace (16x38x12 m), with an arched entrance, was built in Indo-Saracenic style. Its interior is marked by arches joining both walls and supporting the ceiling. This edifice was said to be raised by Shitab Khan, whose lengthy record dated 1504 AD found near the southern torana attributes him to Hindu origin. 

Inner or stone wall of Warangal. This was begun by Ganapati and
completed by his daughter Rudrammadevi, who also built the outer wall of the city. The circumference of the stone wall is 4 miles and 630 yards with 72 pillars and though it is evidently of Hindu workmanship, as appears from the architecture of the gateways, it must frequently have been repaired by Musalmans, for countless stones carved with figures of Hindu gods and their attendants which have been removed from the large temple which stood in the centre of the inner fort, have been built at random into the wall, their carved surfaces being sometimes turned inwards for the better concealment of objects of idolatrous worship. Of the large temple just mentioned nothing remains but four magnificent gates, even the enclosing wall having been removed, but from the large area which this wall,
enclosed and the exquisite carving of the stones which have been used for the repair of the fort wall.

The diameter of the area enclosed by the earthern wall built by Rudrammadevi is about two miles, and this space was occupied by the city of Warangal, while that within the stone wall seems to have contained,besides temples, the palaces of the Raja and his nobles.

There is yet another outer wall, also of earth, the remains of which are distinctly visible, enclosing an almost circular area, the diameter of which varies between 85 and 9 miles. The use of this outer rampart can only be conjectured, for it is obvious that it cannot have been the wall of a fenced city. The defence of more than l29 miles of wall would have been a task beyond the capacity even of those vast armies which the Hindu rulers of the south were able in old times to gather round themselves, and an urban area of more than 127 square miles would have been an extravagant allowance for the population Of the greatest cities of antiquity. It may be conjectured that this outermost wall enclosed all the suburban villages and was no more than an unnecessarily costly suburban boundary ; but its existence has stimulated lovers of the marvellous to flights of fancy, and the modern inhabitant of Warangal will inform the visitor that the old city had no less than seven walls, of which three have already been mentioned. The remainder are said to have disappeared, but it is gravely asserted that the rock fortress of Bhongir was merely a bastion on the outermost wall, from which it may be roughly calculated that this mythical wall had a Circumference of 373 miles and enclosed an urban area of 20,240 square miles.

Historic landmarks of the Deccan / by T. W. Haig