The 1000 pillar temple, Hanamkonda, Telangana once plundered by Delhi sultanate - now a restored site


Sri Rudreshwara Swamy Temple Telangana .

The 1000-pillar temple  with  a ceremonial covered pavilion  and three  sanctums  dedicated to Gods Shiva, Vishnu and Surya in Hanamkonda  near Warangal is a fine example of  Kakatiya  architecture built by  Kakatiya ruler Rudradeva in 1163 AD. It took 72 long years to build this temple using black granite and dolomitic rock. 

Sri Rudreshwara Swamy Temple .

Like many Hindu temples in the 14th century and later period were invaded by Muslim army from Delhi headed by rulers of Turkish origin. the 1000 pillar temple was also raided centuries back. The purpose of  invasion and looting of rich Hindu temples was primarily to run the kingdom and to save money  for future war expeditions so that the area  of reign could be expanded farther and more revenue could be generated by way of tributes from small rulers, etc.  

The 1000-pillar temple, also known as Rudrappa temple, was  invaded by the army of the Delhi Sultanate ruled by Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq of Turkish origin. In 1323, he despatched a powerful army  led by his son Ulugh Khan (later Muhammad bin Tughluq) to the Kakatiya capital Warangal, because the Kakatiya ruler Prataparudra refused to make tribute payments. First raid having been failed within four months he raided Warangal and other areas. (The same Ulugh Khan’s army invaded Srirangam in Tamil Nadu  in 1323 and plundered the Perumal temple and its treasures. In the  process the demonical army beheaded  12000 Sri Vaishnavas assembled at the temple to save the idols. The Kovil Olugu refers to this incident as “Pannirayiramtirumudi-tiruttina-kalabham” (the invasion which took 12000 heads;.

Sri Rudreshwara Swamy Temple Telangana

Thousand Pillar Temple in

Above image: close-up of the monolithic dolerite Nandi at the Thousand Pillar Temple in Hanamakonda, Telangana............

The army of Tughlaqs under  Ulugh Khan’  invaded this  region in 1324-25 plundered the kingdom and and ransacked the temples and disfigured the god's idols in Hanamkonda, including  the Nandi made of  monolithic dolerite (fine medium-grained, dark gray to black of intrusive igneous rock)  near the entrance whose leg was broken. The two sanctums  are bare with the deities of Surya and Vasudeva missing and only Shiva is regularly worshipped. In the long siege during that period at last ruler Prataparudra was defeated and taken captive, resulting in the end of the Kakatiya dynasty.
However, the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad,(Mir Osman Ali Khan) donated a grant of 1 Lakh INR towards the reconstruction of this temple after the Deccani invasion by the  Delhi sultanate. .
In 1336 Kapaya Nayak of the Musunuri Nayak  became a ruler with powerful army  and finally defeated the Tughlaq army and reconquered Warangal from the Delhi Sultanate and ruled the kingdom for half a century.
Alauddin Khalji Dehi

Alauddin Khalji south war expedition.

The 1000 pillar temple is restored  in 2021 and according to an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official Nandi is set to get a new leg and presently a gypsum is created till the broken leg of the stone bull is  replaced with a black granite leg.  

The Kakatiya Nandi, unlike their elephant, is an attempt at natural delineation; it shows even the veins on the snout. The hump of the Hanamkonda bull seems to be unnatural though his jewellery was well done. Basavesvara, who gave a fillip to Veerashaivism (he was not the founder), was supposed to be an avatar of Nandishwara and after his advent, Nandis were made in big sizes. I presume the Hanamkonda Nandi was one such.”

Millions of devotees and visitors who throng the temple daily want to see the nandi with areplaced legUNESCO conferred the World Heritage inscription to the historic Rudreshwar Temple, also known as the Ramappa Temple at Palampet in Mulugu district of Telangana, August 05, 2021.