The Ghanpur group of Temples(locally known as Kotagullu) are about 10km away from Palampet at a village called Ghanpur Mulug. It is easy to drive past this site, if you weren’t in the know, as there are no signboards for directions. We found our way only after asking for directions from the locals.
These temples are mostly in ruins scattered within the Ghanpur Temple complex in the outskirts of the village Ghanpur. Many of these crumbling structures are marked and seem to have been excavated and re-constructed.
A typical example of the Kakatiya architecture, this temple is lesser-known and smaller when compared to the Ramappa temple but has a similar intricate star shaped plan on a raised platform. The temple complex was built in the 13th century during the reign of Ganapatideva, the Kakatiya king. Despite the severe damage at the hands of the invaders, and subsequent neglect, it is indeed amazing that the temple(or whatever is left of it) has survived, and gives us a glimpse of the grandeur of the Kakatiya dynasty.
As soon as you walk into the complex, you would first see a line of six smaller temples, all facing east.
The central temple is by far the largest in the complex with the sanctum facing the east. It stands on a raised platform, and can be reached after climbing a flight of steep and narrow steps.
To our surprise, a frail and elderly priest shows up and unlocks the doors to the sanctum. The Shiva linga is also on a star shaped platform and is framed by intricate sculptures.
The roof, in front of the sanctum sanctorum (and the pillars that support it) have been moved to the State Museum at Public Gardens in Hyderabad.
To the south of the complex is the Sabha-mandapa, which was used as a stage for cultural activities. It is filled with mostly pillars, many of which are broken
Although restoration is underway, it would require more work before the Ghanpur Temple Complex gets the prominence on the tourist map that it richly deserves.