Sunday, 9 December 2012

Kakatiya Dynasty Art and Architectural Heritage

The Kakatiya dynasty was a Telugu dynasty that ruled most of current day Andhra Pradesh, India  from 1083 CE to 1323 CE, with Orugallu, now Warangal, as its capital. Orugallu is also called 'Eka Sila Nagaram'. Shaivite Hindu in nature, it was one of the great Telugu states that lasted for centuries until conquest by the Delhi Sultanate. 

Early history

Gundaya (950 CE) was the first known historical figure among the Kakatiyas. He sacrificed his life in the service of the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna II while fighting against the Eastern Chalukyas. The grateful Krishna II placed Gundaya's son Eriya in charge of Kurravadi near Warangal. This kingdom was created as a check on the Mudigonda Chalukyas on the eastern borders of the Rashtrakuta Empire. Eriya made Kakatipura his capital. Eriya's grandson Kakartya Gundyana rendered help on behalf of his master Krishna III to Danarnava in setting aside his brother Amma II and occupying the throne of Vengi, as a result of which he got Natavadi as a token of gratitude. Gundyana's son and successor Betaraja I took advantage of the Chalukya-Chola conflict and carved out for himself a small principality. His son and successor Prola I obtained by way of grant, Hanmakonda from Somesvara I. Beta II, son and successor of Prola, ruled between 1076 CE and 1108 CE. During his period, orugallu became the capital of the Kakatiyas. Prola II the younger brother of Beta II was the most famous among the early Kakatiya rulers. When the Chalukyan power began to decline, Prola II took advantage of the confused situation and proclaimed independence. He also defeated and killed Gunda, the ruler of Mantrakuta (Nuzividu taluk of Krishna district) and annexed it to his kingdom. However, in his attempts to occupy the Velanati kingdom he lost his life at the hands of Rajendra Choda, the prince of the Velanati Telugu Chodas of Chgandolu. This was the emergence of the Kakatiya dynasty in its own right.

Rudra Deva

Prola II was succeeded by Rudradeva (1158–1195). Rudradeva, also known as Prataparudra I, was the eldest son of Prola II. By the year 1162 CE, Rudradeva vanquished a number of his enemies and transformed his petty principality into an extensive kingdom. Rudradeva devoted the later part of his reign to the conquest of the coastal region. He consolidated and pushed the kingdom to the east up to the Godavari delta. Thousand Pillars Temple was built by King Rudra Deva in 1163 CE at Hanumakonda. During the years 1176–82 CE the battle of  Palanadu was fought. Rudradeva rendered military assistance to Nalagama's faction. In this battle, the military strength of Velanadu had got weakened. Exploiting the situation, Rudradeva led his forces into Coastal Andhra and conquered up to Srisailam and Tripurantakam in the south. In the last year of his reign (1195 CE), he came into conflict with the Seunas (Yadavas) of Devairi. Rudra suffered defeat and death in his encounter with Jaitrapala I. After Rudradeva's death and the imprisonment of his nephew Ganapati in the hands of the Yadavs, his younger brother Mahadeva ascended the throne and ruled the kingdom for a short span of about three years (1196–1198 CE). He led an expedition against the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri to avenge Rudra's death and also to release his son Ganapati. He lost his life in the battle.

Ganapati Deva

Following the death of Mahadeva, disorder broke out in the kingdom. Recherla Rudra, the commander-in-chief of the Kakatiya ruler, saved the kingdom from crumbling. Ganapatideva was set free by Jaitrapala due to political considerations like his desire to secure himself against an attack from Warangal in the event of a conflict with the aggressive Hoyasalas in the south. Ganapatideva's reign lasted for 20 years. It is one of the most brilliant epochs in the history of South India. Ganapati, during his long reign, brought under his sway almost the whole land inhabited by the Telugu-speaking people, from Karimnagar and Anakapalle  in the north to Ongole in the south. Though Ganapatideva was alive until 1269 CE he handed over the threads of administration to his daughter Rudramadevi in 1262 CE itself and retired from active politics.

Ganapatideva was known as the greatest of the Kakatiyas and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. In the year 1216, he put an end to the rule of the Telugu Cholas, who accepted his suzerainty. He established order in his vast dominion and encouraged trade. It is around this period that the Golconda  fort was constructed, as well as beautiful temples in the Kakatiya art form such as Ramappa Temple at the tiny village of Palampet outside of  Warangal.

The above text courtesy from the website. 

There are several architectural monuments of Kakatiya Dynasty in and around Warangal which is capital city of Kakatiya Dynasty.


The temple decorated with one thousand pillers temple, and popularity known as Thousand pillars temple. The Kakatiya ruler 'Rudra Deva' built this historic monument in the year 1163 A.D. and named after him as 'Sri Rudreswara swamy temple 'Trikootalaya", The presiding diety is Rudreswara. The remaining two "Sanctum sanctorums" are dedicated to 'Lord Durya' and 'Lord Vishnu'. The gains 'Nandi' as in Lepakshi in front of the temple is unique in sculptural beauty. It is under control and maintenance of the Archaeological Department. 

The above text courtesy from website. 

I have a photo of this Thousand Pillars Temple.


The temple is built in the year 1213 A.D. by 'Recherla Rudraiah'. This historical temple attracts tourist from India and abroad as it is known for its architectural and sculptural beauty. The sculptures were encraved according to the postures mentioned by Jayapa Senani in his famous work 'Nruthya Ratnavali'. The postures pertaining to Bharata Natya, Shrunga, Bharunga, Rathi, Perini Nritya etc., are encraved on the pillars and top-beams of 'Mukha Mandapam', The mythological episodes such as 'Gopika Vastrapaharanam, Tripura samharm, Daksha Samharam, Ksheera Sagara Madhanam, Girija Kalyanam etc., stand for the highest standards of Kakatiya Sculpture. The 'Nagini' and other eleven devanarthakis are arranged as supporting beams on both sides of each entrance. The aesthetic sense which scaledinnumerable heights in Kakatiya sculpture is clearly evident in these twelve postures of deva narthakis. The Mudras and Bhangimas have highly inspired the dance master Dr.Natraja Ramakrishna in giving shape to the historical classical dance 'Perini Siva Thandavam'. The Ramappa lake adjacent to the temple covering natural plant and zoo fauna will certainly become a feast to the eyes of every tourist.  

The above text courtesy from website. 

I have a photo the Nandi Statue of this Ramappa Temple. This Nandi statue has greatest architectural and sculptural masterpiece of Kakatiya Era.

 Also  i have a photo of Kakatiya Arches (in telugu language we called them as Thoranas) in Warangal City. This photo is in some damage condition. But the Kakatiya Arches and their beauty of architecture clearly visible in the photo.



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  7. Thousand Pillar Temple has a place with the twelfth century. It is situated close Hanamkonda-Warangal expressway. The development shows the impact of Kakatiyan building style.
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