Warangal :: Ghanpur (Kotagullu)

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.

DSC_6722-1
The line of smaller Shiva temples that stand in the western part of the Ghanpur temple complex.

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.

2015-09-07-08-Warangal 204-2
The Nandi facing the sanctum seems to have been the sole witness to the glory as well as the destruction of these temples.

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.

2015-09-07-08-Warangal 234-1
The destroyed sculptures on top of the frame of the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum (garbhagudi).

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

2015-09-07-08-Warangal 248-3
The main temple (seen in the distance) from the Sabha-mandapam which was the venue for cultural activities, music and dance performances, play enactment etc. I was quite sure King Louie(of Disney’s famous Jungle Book) would walk into the frame any minute.
2015-09-07-08-Warangal 252-3
The wonderful view while on our way out of the temple complex.

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s