Thousand Pillar Temple, Telangana, India

Six kilometres northwest of Warangal station in the adjoining town of Hanumakonda (Hanamkonda), the 1000-Pillared Temple, constructed in 1163, is a fine example of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture, in a leafy setting. Unusually, the cross-shaped building has shrines to the sun god Surya (to the right as you enter), Vishnu (centre) and Shiva (left). Despite the name, it certainly does not have 1000 pillars. Behind rises Hanumakonda Hill, site of the original Kakatiya capital before they moved down the road to Warangal.

Other ancient temples in Hanumakonda include the lakeside Bhadrakali Temple, 2km southeast of the 1000-Pillared Temple, whose idol of the mother goddess Kali sits with a weapon in each of her eight hands, and the small Siddeshwara Temple on the south side of Hanumakonda Hill.

Visit India Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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