The Sri Swayambhu Temple is one of the most important pieces of architecture found in the Warangal Fort of Telangana. It is important not only in terms of its historical value but also owing to the insight it provides on the craftsmanship of Kakatiyan sculptors.
Built under the Kakatiyan dynasty the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shiva Linga which still exists is of special significance as it is believed to have emerged out of the earth on its own. Hence it has been named the Swayambhu Shambu Lingeshwara Swamy temple. Swayambhu literally means to be self-incarnated. The Sri Swayambhu Temple Warangal is 846 years old and was once regarded as the most important place of worship for the Kakatiya kings. Its history retells its days of glory when the great Kakatiya king Prataprudra visited the temple regularly to offer his prayers to Lord Shiva. This vital fact renders its small size, which might otherwise have led it to be ignored by tourists, as insignificant.
The Archeological Society of India, in their efforts to revive and restore the architectural marvels of medieval India, has reconstructed the temple with the priceless pieces they have assimilated from amongst the ruins. The Warangal Fort houses these structures and provides tourists with a glimpse of the country’s glorious past. The pillars and arches that are available display intricate carvings of figures. Each carving is unique in their attention to detail that is obvious in the intricacies that have been displayed. It is also interesting to note that though stone, the carvings have beautifully captured delicate details like the jewelry designs of dancers, the facial expressions of the deities or the physical strength of the animals displayed on the motifs. Moreover, the sheer size of the ceilings and brackets leaves tourists amazed and awestruck.
The walls and ceilings of the temple also depict the Perini dancers. Though the temple carvings display female dancers, the Perini dance form however was essentially performed by soldiers prior to leaving for war. In fact, it was the carvings like these which inspired Acharya Nataraj Ramakrishna to revive the Perini dance form.
In addition to these several mythical characters like the Makara Dwajas adorn the structures assumed to have been ceilings. The craftsmanship depicted in these carvings indicates the superior quality that architecture had achieved in the medieval era. Moreover, if individual pieces could evoke such emotions, it is awe-inspiring to imagine what the temple would have looked like in its entirety. Every visitor is left envisioning this through the mind’s eye.
The temple premises housed around 23 Shivalingas or shrines. Most of these were plundered and the precious gems embedded in them were extracted. The ruins remind tourists of the plunder and vandalism that these marvels had been subjected to.
The Kakatiyas had ruled the southern state of Telangana for about 200 years. The indelible mark they have left on the culture, heritage and traditions can be perceived in the Telangana art and lifestyle. Their influence had contributed sufficiently in elevating architectural styles to extremely high stands. The structures in the Warangal fort and the Swayambhu Temple, in particular, are an excellent example of that. Every tour plan must include this destination in order to acknowledge and appreciate that fact.
Special Attractions of Swayambhu Temple Warangal:
– The carvings on the wall and ceiling structures
– The Swayambhu Shiva Linga
– Thousand Pillar Temple
– Bhadrakali Temple, Warangal
– Padmakshi Temple, Hanamkonda
Swayambhu Temple Warangal Fort Timings: Daily 10 am to 6:00 pm – Open on all days
Entry fee: Warangal Fort Entry Fee is Rs.5
How to Reach:
– Warangal City is connected with good Train facility and bus facilities.
– There are many buses from Hyderabad to Hanamakonda.
– Kazipet Railway Station is one of the major junctions which is very well connected with Hyderabad
– Nearest Airport is Hyderabad Airport
– Warangal Fort is 5kms far from Warangal Railway Station.
-150 kms from MGBS Hyderabad
-79 Kms from Karimnagar Bus Station
Warangal Tourism Office Contact Number: 0870-2459201
State Tourism Department – 040-23450444