Rama Navami 2023: Invoke Rama through our 110 Birthday Powertime Rituals for Victory, Protection, Prosperity & Goal Achievement Join Now

Thousand Pillar Temple Warangal

Click the 'Play' button to read out loud this webpage content


The Rudreshwara Swamy temple alternately called the Temple of Thousand Pillars, lies in the town of Hanamakonda, Warangal district of Telangana. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya, the Sun God. The Thousand Pillar Temple is one of the temples awaiting recognition from the World Heritage Sites at UNESCO. The ruins of the temple lie near the Hanamakonda-Warangal highway, around 150 kilometers from the city of Hyderabad. The temple is reflective of Chalukyan style. The temple was constructed in 72 years.

History of Thousand Pillar Temple Warangal

Thousand Pillar Temple Warangal

The Thousand Pillar Temple was constructed between 1175 – 1324 CE by order of King Rudra Deva of the famed Kakatiya dynasty. The temple named after him, and the deity called Rudreshwara, was built in 1163 A.D. Many temples under the patronage of Ganapati Deva, Rudramma Devi, and Prataparudra of the Kakatiya dynasty. While the Tughlaq dynasty destroyed the temple, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad, contributed immensely towards re-building the temple.

The rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty were devoted to Shiva, yet they sought to reconcile the Vaishnavites and Shaivites through the worship of Harihara (a combination of Vishnu and Shiva).

Architectural Glory of Thousand Pillar Temple

The temple is considered an architectural masterpiece achieved by the ancient Kakatiya Vishwakarma Stapathis. The temple is one of the earliest and exceptional examples of Kakatiya art, architecture, and sculpture. The temple has exquisite carving with a thousand outstanding pillars. The temple has delicate icons, perforated screens, rock-cut elephants, and a monolithic Nandi. People refer to the temple by another name – Veyisthambala Gudi, in the local language. The pillars are of different dimensions, yet they are symmetrical in structure as well as in style.

The architects used sand-box texture strengthening the foundations of the temple. The architects dug a deep trench and filled it with sand and rock beams. The architects raised high columns on the foundation, on which they completed their main structuring. Their craftsmanship and exquisite ivory-carving technique is a symbol of their distinctive art. Their ingenuity lies the way they handled materials, shiny dolerite, granite-stone sculpture, and artwork.

The temple has a spiritual aura that is amazing. The temple was renovated by the Government of India in 2004 and is the Archaeological Survey of India manages this ancient masterpiece now. The temple has a lush green lawn in the front. The temple worships Surya, the Sun God as the third deity after Vishnu and Shiva, not Brahma, with three different shrines for each of the deities.

Termed Trikutalayam, the shrine of Shiva faces the east, while the other two sanctums face south and west. The Kakatiya rulers were great devotees of Shiva, and they wanted the early morning rays of the sun to fall directly on the Shiva Lingam. The shrines of Vishnu and Surya connect to Shiva through a square-shaped Mandapam.

On the fourth side lies a beautiful monolith of the six-foot Nandi, Shiva’s sacred bull, on a platform. The bull has been carved from a single piece of rock (black basalt stone) and gives us a glimpse of the artistic finesse of the bygone era. The entire structure of the Thousand Pillar Temple is star-shaped. The temple has amazingly carved doorways. The ceilings bear intricate inscriptions.

The temple has pillars carved out of black stone, and there are three-quarter reliefs in intricately carved geometric designs. Carvings on the exterior walls are exquisite. The entrance gateways are typical examples in form and design. As one enters the temple, beautiful carvings of elephants greet visitors on either side of the entrance. The temple, although in ruins, is an example of evolving cultural values and the inherent skill of the architects. The surrounding gardens have small Shiva Lingas.

Significance of Thousand Pillar Temple Warangal

The temple is one of a kind as it houses a part of the Hindu Trimurti (Vishnu and Shiva) but not the third – Brahma. Instead, the temple has a shrine for the Sun God, Surya. The temple espouses a rare unification of followers of different sects of Hinduism. The architectural brilliance is unique, and the delicate intricacy and depth of knowledge of the architects of that era have been outstanding. The level of craftsmanship and exquisite detailing reflects the knowledge and skill of the architects.

Even today, these marvels of architecture and the religious and spiritual significance reflected in the designing and carving have been reminiscent of how art, craft, sculpture, and artisanship evolved through the ages. The historical, religious, and cultural significance is evident and leaves behind a legacy in current times.

Festivals Celebrated in Thousand Pillar Temple

Festivals held at the temple include Maha Shivarathri, Kumkuma Puja, Nagula Chavithi, Karthika Pournami, Ugadi, Ganesha Festival, Bonalu Festival, and the Bathukamma Festival. The Saralamma Yatra is a fair that takes place once in two years.

How to Reach Thousand Pillar Temple Warangal
By Air

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is the closest.

By Rail

The Warangal Railway Station lies 6 kilometers away from the temple.

S No Day/Temple Pooja Timing Timings
1 Monday 6:00 am - 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
2 Tuesday 6:00 am - 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
3 Wednesday 6:00 am - 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
4 Thursday 6:00 am - 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
5 Friday 6:00 am - 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
6 Saturday 6:00 am - 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
7 Sunday 6:00 am - 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
8 Temple Closing Timings 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

If you wish to have customized spiritual tours or pilgrimages arranged in India for yourself or for a group of people, please contact Brindavan Mystic Services

Email ID: support@brindavanmystic.com

Toll free: 1800 102 9098