"Thousand-Pillared" Temple

Kakatiya Dynasty, 1163
Hanamkonda, Andhra Pradesh, 140km (84mi) NE of Hyderabad

Hanamkonda was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty from its foundation around 1050 until king Ganapatideva (1199-1262) moved the capital to Warangal. The "Thousand Pillared" temple is dated by inscription to 1163, in the reign of king Rudradeva (1158-1195). The temple probably got its name from its detached mandapa (later page), which has many more pillars than the temple itself. Most of the columns in this photograph are carved decorations, not structural pillars.

The temple is seen here from the NE, looking SW. Its entrance is S (photo left). The temple consists of an entrance mandapa with three attached shrines, which are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya. The north (photo right) and east (photo center) shrines are visible here. Just S of the temple entrance is a monolithic Nandi (blue pavilion, photo extreme left), and south of that is the detached mandapa (out of the photo, to the left). The original towers, of both the temple and the detached mandapa, fell down long ago and are lost.