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Intro Rant:


Summers are always tricky. Most people don't prefer to venture out on a trip in summer, for obvious reasons. So, when I bounced an idea off a trip to Warangal this summer, everyone went nuts. They even ridiculed that I'm not in my senses. But I did not want to drop the idea just because someone feels it to be stupid. I needed a break from my monotonous work life, so I was adamant. I know my wife also wouldn't agree; even if she does, she doesn't come considering the weather, but I have to do the customary - inform. My son's response, quick as a wink, was "Let's do it". Wonderful kid. It took some collective effort by me and my son to get the go-ahead from the home minister. Phew!

 

Plan and Preparation:


Being a Kakatiya University graduate myself, I regret not exploring enough of Warangal (capital of Kakatiya Dynasty) for long, which is known for its rich history and heritage. Though it is well within 150 km distance from my hometown and also from Hyderabad, I did not specifically travel to see some of its historical places. So, it's that time again - One-day trip!

 

There was this understanding with my wife and me that any impromptu trip needs to be done and dusted same day. If it's feasible and possible then she and our daughter would also join. Otherwise, my only soul companion is my son on any given day. He can only match and endure my crazy schedule. But being peak summer, my wife was skeptical and worried about excessively hot weather. Only after explaining and reassuring about all necessary precautions taken, we were given the nod. I feel there is nothing like "perfect" time to travel. There is only convenient time. The more the amount of convenience the better. That's it. Peak season travel can bring expensive price tags, overcrowded tours, accommodation, parking and food problems etc. So sometimes off-season travelling could bring in some benefits. One such benefit is leisurely exploring the place in its entirety without hassle. In the end, it proved to be a wise decision as we could spend some quality time exploring the places (especially Laknavaram which is crowded during peak season).

 

Once the date (April 15th) was decided, it was only up to us on how many places we can cover in a day. We finalized 6 places. I've gone through Google maps for route and order of visit.

 

The Route:


Hyderabad -> Bhuvanagiri -> Yadadri -> Kazipet -> Warangal. 

 

This is the only route everyone takes from Hyderabad, but little did we know what was in store for us. The four-lane road is under construction from Yadadri (Yadagirigutta) to Warangal, and it is a 99-km section of National Highway–163 in Telangana. Lots of patches, diversions and traffic was allowed only on one side. It was a nightmare to drive with heavy oncoming truck traffic especially at night. It took nearly 4 hours to cover 145 odd KMs for return journey, excluding dinner time.

 

The Journey:


Below was the order of places we wanted to visit:

 

  • Bhadrakali Temple
  • Warangal Fort
  • Thousand-Pillar Temple
  • Ramappa Temple
  • Laknavaram Lake
  • Pakhal Lake

 

Trip Details:

 

Total distance covered:  539 KM

Total duration of the trip:  17 hours

 

Road Conditions:

 

  • NH163 - Yadadri to Warangal:  Quite a few diversions, patchy roads, potholes, and heavy truck traffic (at night).
  • Other connecting roads are good to okay.
  • If travelling to Pakhal lake from Laknavaram then do not blindly follow Google maps. It'll take you through some thandas.  We drove almost 6 KM through a thanda and got lost.  Just take left at Mallampalli and follow NH365 until Narsampet (Ambedkar statue), and then take left and follow Pakhal road till the lake.

 

Food Options:

 

  • Limited food options everywhere we visited except Warangal.
  • At Laknavaram, food options available like lunch, but depends on the crowd.
  • Better to carry home-made food to other places.

 

 

Parking Facility:

 

  • Limited or no proper parking facilities at all places I visited.
  • It'll be chaos at Laknavaram in peak season unless there is an alternative.

 

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Bhadrakali Temple:

 

It is one of the oldest temples that is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. Located atop a hill, between the city of Warangal and Hanamkonda, by the side of Bhadrakali Lake, it is an ancient temple which was originally built during the Chalukyan reign in 625 AD. Kakatiya kings later have adopted the temple and considered Goddess Bhadrakali as their "Kula Devatha".

 

We started off our journey by 5:15 am from Habsiguda and reached Bhadrakali temple around 7:30 am. The temple is big, spacious and neat. Before worshippers could arrive in large numbers (as it was Sri Rama Navami), we completed our darshan and spent some time bird watching at the lake. The temple opens at 5:30 am and early morning is the perfect time to do bird photography and shoot magnificent sunrise over the lake. Though we couldn't capture sunrise moments, watching the lake was a spectacle in itself.

 

Entrance:

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Grandeur entry to this view:

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On the banks of Bhadrakali lake is this famous Bhadrakali temple:

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Natural rock formations are said to carry immense spiritual powers:

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Due to some kind of a procession on the fort road, we could only go up to the entrance and returned back without seeing the famous Warangal fort.

 

Southern entrance on Ford road:

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WT11.jpg.80ea71fd8faac473ec515dd2938d95e6.jpg

Edited by KSK
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Thousand Pillars Temple:

 

The Thousand Pillar Temple is a historic temple located in Hanamakonda. It was constructed in the 1163 AD by King Rudra Deva. Thousand Pillar Temple is one of the finest specimens of Chalukyan style of architecture and sculpture. The temple has three shrines, which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. This amazing temple is supported by the pillars that are richly carved. It has a star-shaped architecture, which stands as a testimony to the expertise of the wonderful craftsmen of the glorious period. As in the case of any Shiva temple, there is a huge Nandi situated at the entrance of the Shiva shrine. The colossal structure of Nandi is carved out of a single piece of black basalt stone.

 

It is said that there were 1000 pillars in the structures, but no pillar obstructs a person in any point of the temple to see the God in the other temple manifests the quality of workmanship that existed during those days, when technology was not even born.

 

Restoration work is still on the Kalyana mandapam, so visitors were not allowed inside. Photography was not allowed inside the main temple.

 

WT13.jpg.201b932722136ccdf9a8d46052c7b489.jpgWT15.jpg.1c82578041ae7948f3d9879c501ef10b.jpgWT16.jpg.f438f60e433638fc07a76d8808986dd4.jpgWT17.jpg.03431ad49aa4f2fa41c860ff14015e6c.jpgWT19.jpg.1b25d0b155fa133fa1db14a6cd4875bd.jpgWT20.jpg.b89991ed4dc668cb20f6a9a5b715278e.jpgWT21.jpg.40d0ff8cd09b50627b2654f32a2bc26d.jpgWT24.jpg.af67f55124e572a31a630fc1bd1df06f.jpg

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Ramappa Temple:

 

The Ramalingeswara temple, which is popularly known as the Ramappa temple, is one such amazing pieces of art that stands as a testimony of the royal Kakatiyas. The temple got its name Ramappa because of its chief sculptor Ramappa. It's probably the only temple in the country to be known by the name of its sculptor. The beautiful Ramappa Temple depicts the grandeur of those times through its exquisite architecture. Though some structures of the temple have been ruined due to natural calamities and lack of maintenance, majority of the structure remains intact. It now comes under Jayashankar Bhupalpally district (one of five districts Warangal was divided into by Telangana government).

 

Ramappa temple is approximately 64 km from Thousand pillars temple, and by 12 noon we reached here. There is no dedicated parking place and no shade whatsoever. We went a few meters ahead and found an open place and parked our car under a tree. The sun was blazing down and we could feel the heat. We wore full face mask so that nose and ears are covered, and took out the umbrella to protect ourselves from direct sunlight. Need to walk quite a distance to reach the temple.

 

Literally and truly, one cannot stop admiring the temple's architectural brilliance and the panoramic view of true scenic beauty, both inside and outside. Another striking feature of this temple is that it is built with bricks that are so light that they can easily float on water. I've read that these floating bricks were used to make it earthquake proof. We savored leisurely the architectural splendor for almost an hour. Cameras are allowed inside the temple and we did capture some snaps.

After coming out, we hydrated ourselves with 'Nimbu paani', bought a chilled water bottle and started our journey towards Laknavaram lake.

 

Lush green path dotted with trees to reach the temple:

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The main structure is called Rudrasheswara temple, named after King Rudra Deva:

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Temple shows historical richness and architectural excellence:

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Massive pillars leading way to Garbagriha and Maha Mandapa:

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Ceiling of Maha Mandapa:

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Maha Mandapa is supported by four enormous pillars carved with elaborate detailing:

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Intricately sculpted pillars:

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Jaw-dropping carvings:

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Depictions of dancing figurines:

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View from Sabha Mandapa or outer porch:

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Temple has three entrances, one of which leads to roofless Nandi mandapam:

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Nandi Mandapam:

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Majestic view from Nandi mandapam:

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Backside view:

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Architectural brilliance everywhere:

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A mini tower:

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Sub shrine adjacent to main structure:

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Ruined sculptures, both outside and inside:

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Once a royal garden, now reduced to a lawn with a path paved by trees:

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Laknavaram Lake:

 

This lake is around 70 km from Warangal and 30 km from Ramappa temple. It is one of the must-visit places among many tourists. The lake was formed by closing down three narrow valleys, and it is surrounded by thick deciduous forest. An added attraction to this mystic beauty is the suspension bridge, which connects many small islands. Watching huge spread of serene water from this suspension bridge is the main reason why tourists prefer to visit it in rainy and winter seasons.

 

Keeping in view the growing number of the tourists, the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) constructed a new suspension bridge. The length of the new bridge is 210 metres and the width is 1.5 metres. The carrying capacity of the bridge is 1,000 people. It was constructed with the rust-proof galvanized sheets. The new bridge connects the main land near parking area to an island. The existing bridge (old one) is with length of 160 metres.

 

Initially, I did not include this place to the list, but wanted to check what kind of perspective and viewpoint it will bring in summer. The lake was dried up for the most part; but the good thing is, vehicles are allowed to drive down to the lake shore, which otherwise is not possible in peak season. So that's another experience in itself. 

 

After reaching here, we had our lunch in Haritha restaurant. Only veg meals were served. One can also book accommodation in Haritha lake view resorts or cottages in islands for overnight stay, also camping facility too available. We've spent almost an hour exploring the place by walking on the suspension bride, driving to the shore and enjoying in the lake. Then continued our journey towards the last place of the tour, Pakhal lake.

 

No shade for parked vehicles:

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Information can be procured from reception:

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Way to Haritha lake view resort (restaurant can be seen on the left):

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Old suspension bridge:

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Old bridge connecting to the new one can be seen in the background:

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New suspension bridge:

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From the other side:

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End or rather start of the new bridge, where limited parking place available:

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Beautiful view of the new bridge:

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And here is the old one:

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Intersection of two bridges; dry lake will be full in monsoon and winter (pic taken while coming back from lake shore):

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Very less water, no wonder very little crowd:

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Look farther for small islands which are used for camping:

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No one believed when I told I've taken my car to Laknavaram lake shore (yeah! not possible unless it is summer):

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My Baleno almost stuck in the mud:

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Pakhal Lake:

 

Pakhal Lake is a man-made lake in the Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary in Warangal. The place gets more interesting as this amazing plateau region is surrounded by a mesmerizing range of low hills. The wildlife park’s natural scenic beauty and its breathtaking landscape are extremely captivating. A visit to this promising spot would never disappoint you.

 

Initially, this was the only place I wanted to visit to capture its surrounding scenic beauty with my newly bought Canon M50 camera. To my utter shock and surprise, the ticket cost for photography was 500 and for videography 2000, but one can shoot and record using mobile phones. So I dropped the plan of carrying my camera. We enjoyed a 10-minute speed boat ride, experienced mesmerizing evening at the lake, took some snaps and refreshed our thirsty throats with soft drinks at Haritha canteen.

 

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As you walk into the sanctuary, trees act as a curtain-raiser for the beautiful lake:

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This man-made lake is enveloped by the scenic forested hills:

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The lake offers breathtaking picturesque site:

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It attracts many nature enthusiasts:

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Boating and speed boating services available:

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We took a speed boat ride:WT93.jpg.94bb6ed9f4a0692ddffa95a11e8514b8.jpg
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Though the blue waters of the lake does not have lush green surroundings to compliment, the charming ambiance around the lake provided picturesque settings to explore, even in summers.
Evening boating experience was icing on the cake and provided much needed rejuvenation to a long trip.

 

On that note, we bid adieu to the place. My mobile phone came out one last to capture the sunset, indicating it's time to go home.

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Well put together and beautifull pictures, hope you guys had fun. Pakhal seems to be interesting in addition to other places.

Edited by akhil_redd
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20 hours ago, Ranger said:

Very informative thank you for sharing.
This will guide be a  guide to Warangal for road trip enthusiasts.

I always wanted to visit Pakhal lake. 
Waiting for monsoon to complete this circuit. 

https://www.india-drive.com/index.php?/topic/351-waterfalls-in-telangana/

 

 

Thank you @Ranger

 

18 hours ago, akhil_redd said:

Well put together and beautifull pictures, hope you guys had fun. Pakhal seems to be interesting in addition to other places.

 

Thank you @akhil_redd

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So far this is the best post on Warangal. Appreciate your road trip enthusiasm. Such articles inspire the couch potato like me.
Even on the mid day, Pictures came out very well. Keep posting and drive safe.
 

22 hours ago, Ranger said:

Waiting for monsoon to complete this circuit. 

 

Add me to the list. Would love to join. 

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On 4/19/2019 at 7:06 PM, KSK said:

It'll be chaos at Laknavaram in peak season unless there is an alternative.


Very good write up sir. Information is spot on.

 

They have parking facility but it cannot hold more than 100 cars. Place is getting overcrowded on long weekends. Don't even plan to visit during festivals. In a way, I can say that you visited Laknavaram on the best time possible. Very less crowd from your pictures. 
 

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Love the Baleno in blue shade. Pictures came out very well mate. Temperatures in Warangal are high compared to Hyderabad?
What is the best time to visit, two days good enough to cover all the places?

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Hey @KSK, Brilliant write up man.. Lovely pictures too. They give a perfect sight of how this place looks during peak summers every year. Pakhal lake especially, I have visited this place in December a couple of years ago which looked so serene and beautiful. Now, that I see this place in summer, it looks very different :) Thanks much for sharing this post..  

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19 hours ago, driveking said:

Love the Baleno in blue shade. Pictures came out very well mate. Temperatures in Warangal are high compared to Hyderabad?
What is the best time to visit, two days good enough to cover all the places?

 

Thank you @driveking I think post monsoon would be good time.

 

14 hours ago, sagar said:

Hey @KSK, Brilliant write up man.. Lovely pictures too. They give a perfect sight of how this place looks during peak summers every year. Pakhal lake especially, I have visited this place in December a couple of years ago which looked so serene and beautiful. Now, that I see this place in summer, it looks very different :) Thanks much for sharing this post..  

 

Thank you @sagar 

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On ‎4‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 12:36 PM, KSK said:

post monsoon would be good time.

 

Yeah post monsoon greenery gives altogether a different picture. Especially Pakhal and Laknavaram lake looks full.  But, A visit in August will be enjoyed with Bogatha falls flowing too :) 

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      (Steep Walk way , with stairs cut into the rock, Rails installed in the modern era for support, Another Check Dam towards right and Mr.Daddy gauging on how far we have to go)
       
      After this i was completely exhausted , and stopped at every 5-10 minutes on the pretext of taking pictures 😛 ,  Approximately after an hour we started , we reached the top of the fort. 
      (Celebratory pic of climbing the hill, My smile will tell you how happy i was on the top, the cannon at the back might be a late addition to the fort , as they were developed only in 15th century) 
       
      There are three structures at the top of the Hill , one ruined old fort , and two other government buildings , with Cellular tower on top of one. The other building was build on top adjacent to an old well. (The Pic of the fort). 
       
      The views from the top of the hill are simply amazing. Google maps told us that we were 1000 meters above MSL. Below are a few pics of the views from the fort. 

       (You can spot Bhongir Railway station , from where i first saw this magnificent Hill Fort. Also , at the bottom right , notice how Dams were constructed to save water.)
       

      (Another pond , and the fort wall at a distance)
       
      We explored the whole place for an hour , found a small entrance and a staircase, just out of curiosity i went in and started climbing the stairs , and Mr.Daddy followed me. 
      The stairs took us to the top of the fort. There is no higher point in Bhongir Than this.  

      (The fort view from behind)

       

      (Me after conquering the fort, instead of a sword i posed with an Umbrella, modern day weapon to fight the soldiers of the nature) 
      By 2 o clock we were hungry and decided to descend, as soon as we thought of of it , we could see dark clouds manifest out of no where and weather became cloudy and pleasant.  I wonder where these clouds were when i was climbing up the hill.   

       
      We climbed down, and there were 6 other cars parked in the parking. We went to the shop next to ticket counter had another bottle of water. Went to a nearby restaurant in Bhongir and had our lunch. After and uneventful lunch , we started back to Hyderabad , and it started raining just as we were ready to leave Bhongir. 
      Tips for Trek to the Top : 
      Carry your own water one bottle per person. Carry an umbrella , Sun or Rain it will help you a lot.  Avoid Summers , It was tiring to climb in October Sun. Imagine April Sun beating down on you.   
      Suggest to go in groups, Half of the time i was engrossed in deep conversations with Mr.Daddy , and didn't feel the tiredness. 
      Wear shoes and avoid Slippers and Flip flops at all costs

      PS: For those who are wondering , why i call him Daddy , You can find the explanation in my previous write up






    • By Ranger
      Hi all,

      This is the Pune-Bangalore road condition as on 14th Oct 2019.
       
      This is a detailed explanation and a long post so kindly read it at your leisure.
       
      A stretch of almost 870 kms from Pune.  Until Hubli you dont have to fall down under. It is a beautiful highway to drive on. Your patience is taken for a toss from Hubli. Your real journey starts now :p After Hubli, almost close to 150-200 kms, you have to deal with some rough patches of the road because a lot of construction activity is in progress. May be two years down the line it will be the best highway. After the trouble with all the rubble, here comes the best stretch of the highway which is the last two hundred kilometres where you feel you are in heaven. You can easily touch speeds upto 130-140 kmph with ease and it is a 6-Lane highway. In most parts of the highway until Kolhapur or may be little further you will find some shoddy white strips (refer video) which spread across hundred metres before you cross every village. These are nasty, so you may want to speed up a bit; instead of travelling at 40 or 60 kmph, travel at speeds of nearly 80-100 kmph so that you don't feel these jerks. However, be careful of two wheeler and pedestrians crossing the roads in these villages.  After Hubli, you may not find too many food options so carry lot of snacks with you. Especially, when you are travelling with kids ensure that you take decent quantity of food. However, here and there you might find small outlets which are just average. But if you are looking for some good options you will have to wait until the last 100 to 130 kilometres stretch towards Bangalore. Last but not the least, as far as possible, avoid driving in the night in this stretch from Hubli because in certain places you will not find diversion symbols near construction areas, you wont see shoulder line markings, lane markings in most of the places thus making it a difficult drive during nights. Both the driver and navigator have to be really careful to ensure that everyone is safe   
      by Praneeth Palakodeti
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