Home » Warangal- The Pride of Kakatiyas
Warangal enjoys the unique distinction of being the capital of great family of rulers, the Kakatiyas, who established their sovereignty over vast areas of the Telugu region between 1150 AD and 1323 AD. The word 'Kakatiya' derives from the name of the deity 'Kakati’ whom the Kakatiyas worshipped.
During the Chalukya-Chola period, the Kakatiyas ruled from Anumakonda (Hanamkonda) as vassals of the Western Chalukyas. But the Post-Satavahana period saw the Kakatiyas as sovereigns who unified all the Telugu speaking people and generated a new and common awareness among their subjects. Their inscriptions extol Trillinga as the best of all regions and the term Andhra for the first time became synonymous with Trillinga.

The local records show how Warangal sprang from a miracle and rose to be the seat of supreme power, signifying the unity and glory of the Telugu people. As the story goes, a double bullock-cart, bound for Anumakonda, appeared to have toppled over a stone late one evening. The cartman waited in vain for help through the dark night and the next morning they were stupefied to find that the iron lining of the upturned wheel had turned into gold. Informed of the miracle, King Prola II arrived at the scene with his retinue and consecrated the place with a shrine. The Linga that had upset the cart was called Swayambhu Siva because it was self-born. The present Sambhunigudi and the township which grew around it was named 'Oragallu' after the incident. (from k(g)allu or axle that fell (Ora) sideways to the earth). Through the centuries it was known as 'Orugallu', and its modernised form is Warangal.
Considered by chroniclers as a golden epoch in the history of Telugu region, the Kakatiya rule grew from a petty principality to a great empire under Ganapathi Deva. He brought the entire Telugu speaking region under his sway in the course of his 63-year reign. The Kakatiya kings were generous patrons of the arts, architecture, sculpture, literature, and learning. Two of the successive rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty have attained legendary greatness: Rudramamba or Rudramadevi and her grandson, Prataparudra. Rudramadevi married an eastern Chalukyan Prince Virabhadra of Nidadavolu, withstood numerous external incursions and internal feuds to maintain the integrity of the empire. Marco Polo, who visited South India during the reign of Queen Rudrama Devi (1269-89) paid rich tributes to her administration, judgement, wisdom and patronage of arts. Her grandson, Prataparudra repulsed Allauddin Khilji's swarming armies six times but was finally taken as a prisoner, through the betrayal by Ulugh Khan, who was to become notorious later as Mohammed Bin Tughlaq. After the disintegration of Chalukyas and Cholas, Kakatiya rule too withered away in the wake of invasions from the Delhi Sultanate which eventually incorporated it into its fold.
The Kakatiyan empire witnessed a renaissance of the best and most beautiful in Telugu culture. Many eminent Sanskrit scholars and poets flourished in the courts. Prataparudra himself was a poet. Works like Yayaticharitham bear testimony to his creative genius. The Telugu literature which had suffered an eclipse received fresh fillip from the Kakatiyas. Tikkana's Mahabharata, Madana's Markandeya Purana, Nannechoda's Kumarasambhava, Palkuriki Somanatha's Basava Puranam, Panditharadhya Chartha are some of the classics which the Kakatiya regime had bequeathed to us. It was Bammera Pothana, a great luminary in the firmament of Telugu poetry who composed his divinely inspired epic, Bhagavatam.
Though the Kakatiya kings were followers of Saivism, they were tolerant of other faiths like Vaishnavism and Jainism. They promoted foreign trade and commerce. Following the glorious Indian tradition that the Hindu temple was not a simple place of worship but a social institution around which were entwined the secular, moral and spiritual aspirations of the people, the Kakatiya rulers constructed a number of temples for the protection and perpetuation of Dharma. Despite the ravages inflicted on them by and time, vandals and invaders, these temples speak volumes of the Kakatiyan glory and consummate craftsmanship. Inscriptional and literary sources reveal that during the reign of Prataparudra Warangal had an astounding number of 13, 500 temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Bhairava Ganapathi and Veerabhadra. Today these temples remain as mute witnesses to what was once the glory of Kakatiyas. Every statue or stone has a story to narrate.