Bhadrakali temple of Warangal, Telengana and its link with world famous Koh-i-noor diamond

The Bhadrakali Temple of Warangal, Telengana is  a historical temple and is closely associated  with the  Kakatiya  dynasty of this place who once owned the world famous Koh-i-noor diamond.  The Kakatiya  kingdom   covered  most of the Telugu speaking lands  (part of present day  Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states). Their dynasty reigned  between 1083 CE to 1323 CE, with Orugallu (now Warangal), as its capital  and possessed  this  most expensive diamond in the world. 

Bhadrakali temple, Warangal, Telengana.

Bhadrakali Temple atop  a hill between  two cities of Hanamkonda and Warangal,  Telangana, is one of the oldest temples   dedicated to  Goddess Bhadrakali,  a Hindu goddess quite popular in Southern India, especially in Kerala.  

Bhadrakali temple, Warangal.

One of the fierce forms of the primary Goddess Shakti or Adi Parashakti,  she is actually an epitome of compassion  and love for her devotees and. at the same time.  a destroyer of evil forces or men with devil's mind.  She often goes by different names:  Durga, Devi, Mahadevi, or Mahamaya  mentioned in the Devi Mahatmyam.  She is known in Kerala  as Bhagavati, Mahakali and Chamunda   and is  often seen as the auspicious and fortunate form of Mahakali.  More often than not  her worship  and rituals are   associated with the Tantric tradition of the Matrikas  as in Kerala or of the  tradition of the ten Mahavidyas and falls under the broader purview of Shaktism.

Location map. Warangal, Telengana.

Bhadrakali (Maha Kali Mata) was the principal deity of the Hindu Kakatiya kingdom of Warangal and it was a tradition among the Kakatiya rulers to invoke  her blessings  before going on a  war campaign.   According to  temple inscriptions, the temple was built  in 625 A.D by the King Pulakeshi  II  to commemorate his victory over Vengi region of Andhra Desham. After this decisive victory later rulers of this dynasty considered  Goddess Bhadrakali as their "Kula Devatha"(family deity).

The  stone image  (2.7 x 2.7 m2) of goddess Kali in the sanctum- garbagriha is  in her fierce form - with  large eyes,  stern  look, and eight arms wielding different weapons. She sits on the lion, her vahana/ mount. The subtle conception is she is the slayer of evil men and spirits. The  Lion image is  facing   the sanctum sanctorum. Temple also has Dwajasthambam and a Balipeetam like other temples. .

Unfortunately the temple lost its prominence and glory with the fall of  Kakatiya dynasty in the face of a  raid  by the Delhi Sultanate of  Allauddin Khilji in the 1300s.  The Kakatiya army was unprepared for this sudden raid. The  ruler made a deal with the Sultan and accordingly, as part of the truce, he handed over  his brilliant diamond  to Sultan's  representative, personal confidant  and Army head Malik Kufur ( some historians say it was Army chief Ulugh Khan). That  intriguing diamond  the world famous Kohinoor diamond looted by the East India company from India in 1839; With 793 carats in weight when uncut  it was   the biggest diamond in the world then.  It is said that the Kakatiya rulers installed the diamond as the third  eye of Bhadrakali.  According the Hindu mythology the goddess has three eyes and many arms to fight with demonic forces. 

Yet another version says that the Sultanate  army in 1310 raided this place, destroyed the  Bhadrakali temple and took away the diamond.

Koh-i-noor diamond of kakatiya origin, India

Koh-i-noor diamond on British queen' crown.

Above images : Koh-i-Noor Diamond: Present owner the royal British family since 1949. Koh-i-noor diamond (mountain of light) is on the British Queen's crown;  last seen in 2002 on the coffin of queen mother. It is on display  along with  other Royal jewelry in the Tower of London. Until 1839 it was with Sikh Maharajah Ranjit Singh  of Punjab. He died in 1829, leaving his kingdom with  his  minor son  and  heir  Duleep Singh (just 10 years old)  and his wife. The cunning British company  officials  who had already eyed on the rich kingdom,  violently forced the  queen Regent Rani Jind Kaur and  her son in 1849  to sign over the kingdom along with Koh-i-noor and  a  red-colored Timur Spinal ( 353.5 ct  largest stone in the world).  Mined in the Kollur  diamond mines near Gunter, AP, it is the size of a  hen's egg. original weight: 793 ct; later cut to 105 ct.................

Believed to have been worn by  Goddess Bhadrakali, the diamond carried a curse:  ''Only God and woman can can wear it with impunity.'' Any man wearing it would die. After Bhadrakali, only  queen  Elizabeth wore it for a long time without any harm. As for Allauddin Khilji who looted the diamond was in the later years was killed by his own slave Malik Kaufer.

It was  in 1950, the temple was renovated  under the guidance of  Devi Opasakar  Sri Ganesh Rao Sastri, Gujarati Businessman  shri Maganlal. B. Sameja made vast conribution to this temple.    Founder of Shri Bhadrakali Temple.  Here Apara Ekadashi is observed as Goddess Bhadrakali Ekadashi.

Close by there is an artificial  lake called   Bhadrakali lake established by King Ganapiti Deva. It  is a big lake covering 2.5 km2; mostly used for irrigation purpose. 

.The temple can be accessed from  Warangal and Kazipet railway stations. There re buses available to this temple from nearby places.,_Warangal