Discover Telangana, a land of untold tales and unforgettable adventures
Telangana, though the newest state in India, is rich in heritage, tradition and history. The land of Telangana was ruled by many a great dynasty, the Chalukyas, Sathavahanas, Kakatiyas, Mughals, Qutb Shahis and Asaf Jahis. Thus endowed with a confluence of cultures, Telangana is an attractive tourism destination that must be a part of one’s travel plans.
Telangana is showered with an impressive dose of art, wildlife, history, entertainment and adventure. An ideal spot for the adventurer, solace seeker, or the family, Telangana promises a kaleidoscope of offerings that cater to all.
Hyderabad: A quintessential blend of tradition and the contemporary
Capital of Telangana, the city of Hyderabad is known for its rich historical legacy, cuisine and culture. Hyderabad, also known as the Pearl City, offers a variety of tourist attractions such as age-old heritage monuments, gardens, lakes, parks, museums, delectable cuisine and an exciting shopping experience. It brings in the perfect melange of rich cultural and historical traditions.
Hyderabad, having its upper hand in the tourism industry is home to some of the most famous architectural creations in the world. Some of them are Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Golconda Fort, Chowmahalla Palace, Falaknuma Palace and Qutb Shahi tombs. Each monument has a number of stories and myths behind it. The Golconda Fort is undoubtedly one of most magnificent fortresses in this country. The history of Golconda Fort goes back to early 13th century, when it was ruled by the Kakatiyas followed by the Qutb Shahi kings, who ruled the region in the 16th and 17th century. The fortress rests on a granite hill, 120 meters high, while huge crenellated ramparts surround this structure. Even today, Golconda boasts of mounted cannons, four drawbridges, eight gateways, majestic halls, stables and more. The highlight of the Golconda Fort is a sound and light show depicting the glorious past of this grand fortress. This spectacular audio – visual presentation is in English (everyday), Hindi and Telugu on alternative days of the week.
Hyderabad does not live on its past glory alone but has been keeping pace with the changing times. The city boasts of the stateof- the-art facilities in all sectors. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has been adjudged among the best in the world. A number of world-class malls dot the landscape of Hyderabad, wowing the die-hard shopaholic.
Nalgonda: Where silk is woven with history.
The name Nalgonda means ‘black hill’ in Telugu. But a name so bleak is quite contrary to the life and spontaneity of the town. A land flourishing with silk, ballads and fairs, Nalgonda is a recital of all the great tales that once occurred in the land. The Harikatha, Veedhinatakam (street drama), Burrakatha Ballad and Holi Dholandi are different forms of art and theatre in Nalgonda. Pochampally is historically known as the birthplace of the Bhoodan movement by Acharya Vinobha Bhave. Pochampally has a unique traditional method of weaving which is over a hundred years old and is home to a large number of weaver families. Pochampally Ikkat sarees are exquisite and very popular since the 1800s.
Yadagirigutta is a very popular Hindu temple of Narasimha Swamy; devotees flock the site for various religious events throughout the year. Soon, Yadgirigutta will offer facilities to tourists which will be comparable to Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam. The Bhongir Hill is a favourite tourism venue which seats the Bhongir Fort. For those who like to live life on the edge, Bhongir is also a popular rock climbing spot. The monolithic hill also has a rock climbing school that offers adventure courses.
Kolanupakaji Temple is a Jain shrine at the village of Kolanupaka in Nalgonda. The temple houses three idols: one each of Lord Rishabha, Lord Neminath, and Lord Mahaveer. The image of Lord Rishabha, carved of a green stone has been historically famous as ‘Manikyaswami’. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, the world’s largest masonry dam is located in the Nalgonda district and is a powerhouse for the region. It is a treat to watch water gush out of the open gates.
Warangal: Vivid tales inscribed in stone
Warangal, once the capital of the great Kakatiya kings, is one of India’s best heritage sites. 145 km away from Hyderabad, the city’s name is derived from the word ‘Orugallu’ which means one stone. Warangal is also called Ekasila Nagaram and houses beautiful architectural pieces chiselled out of stone. According to history, kings of the Kakatiya dynasty built the beautiful city in the 12th century. The Kakatiyas, who ruled for more than 200 years have left behind many grand monuments and architectural wonders like the famous Warangal Fort, Ramappa Temple and Thousand Pillar Temple. The Tourism Department conducts a Sound & Light Show at Warangal Fort that reveals the history of great rulers of Kakatiya dynasty.
Ramappa Temple, the only one to be named after its architect is made of bricks that float on water. Intricate carvings line the walls and cover the pillars and ceilings. Starting at its base to its wall panels, pillars and ceiling are sculpted figures drawn from Hindu mythology.
Constructed in 1163 AD by Rudra Deva, the Thousand Pillar Temple is shaped in the form of a star with three shrines dedicated to three deities. Aptly named, the temple has over 1000 intricately carved pillars, which are built in such a manner that they do not obstruct the viewer from gazing at the three gods from any angle. Lakes were an important irrigation source that was developed by the Kakatiya rulers. One among them is the Laknavaram Lake, an engineering marvel, spread across 10,000 acres. A 160-mt-long hanging bridge is a special attraction. The Tourism Department runs a lake resort with eight-room accommodation and cottages on the many islands. The UNESCO has included these three monuments in the tentative list of world heritage sites.
Art is also significant in Warangal, namely the renowned Cherial scroll painting of Cherial village. The art form, painted in scrolls with a rich scheme of colours, depicts mythological tales and folklore in traditional motif styles. The brassware of Pemberti village is famous across India.
Khammam: Where diverse ethnicities meet
The name Khammam has been derived from the name of a local hill by the name ‘Stambhadri’ that is home to an ancient temple of Narasimha Swamy and also believed to have been in existence since Treta Yuga. Khammam is famous for its pilgrimage centres and tourist destinations. Among the many temples in Khammam, the Sree Seetha Ramachandra Swamy shrine at Bhadrachalam is one of the most famous in the country dedicated to Lord Rama. It is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, considered to be one of the greatest holy shrines in South India with a very rich and unique historical background. The temple was constructed in the 17th century by the local Tahsildar, Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas, a fervent devotee of Lord Sree Rama. Bhadrachalam, has the unique distinction of housing as many as 13 bathing ghats on the banks of the river, Godavari.
Karimnagar: Of fine art and fortresses
Karimnagar, situated towards the north-western part of Telangana, derived its name from late Nizam, Syed Karimullah Shah. Karimnagar is dotted with countless ancient fortresses built by the Kakatiya dynasty, Bahmanis, Qutb Shahis, Mughals and Asaf Jahis.
The Ramagiri Fort crowns the top of a picturesque hillock, from where one can enjoy splendid views of the Manair and Godavari Rivers. Elgandal Fort is famous for its magnificent spires and is located near river Manair.
The establishment of Jagtial Fort dates back to the 17th century. The christening of the star-shaped marvel has an interesting tale. It was built in the Mughal era by two French engineers, Jack and Tal, hence the name ‘Jag-tial’. The Nagunur Fort is situated 8 km from the city of Karimnagar and houses many significant Kalyani, Chalukya and Kakatiya temples that date back to the 12th and 13th century. About 35 km from Karimnagar is the breath-taking temple of Lord Anjaneya Swamy. Situated amidst scenic hills, valleys and water springs, Kondagattu is nature’s gift to Karimnagar. According to the folklore, the temple was constructed by a cowherd, some 300 years ago. It is believed that if a woman offers puja for 40 days at the temple, she will be blessed with a child.
Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam at Vemulawada village of Karimnagar district, also known as Dakshin Kasi is one of the most ancient and famous Shiva temples in Telangana. The shrine deserves a special mention in terms of its architectural grandeur and spiritual sanctity. Existence of this shrine is lost in the midst of antiquity and even Puranas mention the existence of the deity. A dargah, within the precincts of the temple, stands as an ample evidence for religious tolerance. Karimnagar is also renowned for the art of silver filigree. One can find heavily intricate objects that span from jewellery to show pieces, created in silver metal by innovative craftsmen. The delicate metal work is made with twisted threads of gold or silver in shapes of motifs.
Ranga Reddy: Natural charm blends with divinity
The city got its name from Konda Venkata Ranga Reddy, a freedom fighter who fought for the independence of Telangana from the Nizams. Today, this district is the hinterland for Hyderabad city, feeding the powerful commercial centre with various raw materials, agriculture produce and finished products.
Ranga Reddy has a number of tourist attractions that share a close bond with nature. Ramoji Film City, Ananthagiri Hills, Himayatsagar Lake and Shilparamam are few of the must-see places. It is also host to a number of pilgrimage centres like Maheshwaram, Chilkur, and Keesaragutta.
Keesaragutta is famous as one of the places where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva. An ancient temple is present within its premises. An archaeological museum is also present near this temple that contains artefacts dating back to the 4th century AD. Ananthagiri Hills is a hill resort situated 72 kms awary from Hyderabad. It has a moderate climate, the Tourism Department has developed a resort here.
Adilabad: A potpourri of paint
Adilabad is on the northern tip of Telangana and derives its name from the erstwhile ruler of Bijapur, Mohammed Adil Shah. It is most renowned for its Kakatiyan art form of paintings and toys – Nirmal art. The oil paintings come in themes of epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat. The wooden toys are coated with tamarind paste that gives a golden sheen, and then embellished with oil colours. Adilabad is also home to the Dokra craft, a non ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. This sort of metal casting has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used. The product of dokra artisans are known for its primitive simplicity, enchanting folk motifs and forceful form. The Basar Temple, located on the banks of River Godavari is one among the few temples dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. The district also houses architectural heritages like the Nirmal Fort, which was built by the French, when they were fascinated by the scenic beauty here.
The Kuntala Waterfall, Pochera Falls, Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary and Pranahitha Wildlife are scenic spots in Adilabad that are often visited by trekkers, explorers and nature lovers.
Mahbubnagar: Hidden riches galore
Mahbubnagar’s border is marked by River Krishna. It is well connected by road and rail network on the Hyderabad-Bangalore section. It was under the rule of Satavahana Dynasty and then Chalukyan Dynasty in South India between the periods of 5th and 11th century AD. It was under the influence of Kakatiyas and under the Moghals. Later it was under the Golconda state and finally Hyderabad state. Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers flow through this district. Mahbubnagar district is home to famous temples and many religious and heritage sites of historical importance.
The heritage site of Alampur, located in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana, is home to the Navabrahma temples. These are believed to be built during the 7th – 8th centuries AD and a total of nine temples were built on the banks of the river Tungabhadra, where Lord Shiva manifests in 9 different forms. Jogulamba Temple, is the 5th among the 18 Shaktipeetas in India, attracts thousands of visitors each day. Alampur is considered historically as an important centre of the Chalukyas. Goddess Jogulamba is seen here as Shakti in her ‘Roudra Avatar’. Alampur is also the site where the historic Sangameshwara Temple was relocated after its submergence by the backwaters of Srisailam Dam. 3 kms from Mahbubnagar is the Pillala Marri, a 700-year-old banyan tree. The tree attracts many tourists. It earned its name ‘Pillala Marri’ because it is spread into a lot of branches. Because of the scores of branches, one cannot see the main trunk of the tree.
Gadwal Sarees from Mahbubnagar feature fine cotton, which is weaved separately and later interlocked with borders and pallu made out of pure silk. The brocaded designs woven into the Gadwal Sarees represent South Indian cultural patterns. Yellow, parrot-green, pink and beige are the often used colours.
Kollapur is a famous tourist attraction with architectural sites dating back to 2nd century BC. Koilsagar is a key dam, which attracts many tourists. Mallela Theertham is a popular waterfall situated in the Nallamala forest region. The district has Nagarajuna Sagar Dam and India’s largest tiger reserve, the Nagarjuna Sagar – Srisailam Tiger Reserve located on both sides of River Krishna.
From a short weekend getaway to a long holiday that quenches wanderlust, Telangana is the ideal retreat for travellers. The Tourism Department of Telangana has set up a number of hotels, both budget stays and luxury resorts, across the state for travellers, to reside in comfort as they enjoy a memorable holiday.