Hanamkonda Thousand Pillar, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, IN


Deity: Shiva, Vishnu, Surya, Nandi
Location: Warangal, Andhra Pradesh
Known As: Thousand Pillar
Best time to Visit: All year around

Warangal, the ancient capital of the Kakatiyas is at a distance of 142 km from Hyderabad by rail. It is home to the Hanumakonda thousand pillared temple. Palampet near Warangal in Andhra Pradesh is home to brilliant Kakatiya art as seen in the Ramappa temple, that is near the ancient engineering marvel that is the 13th century Ramappa tank.

An inscription near the temple dates it to the year 1163 to the period of King Rudra of the Kakatiyas.

The Hanumakonda temple consists of three separate shrines to Rudreshwara (Shiva), Vasudeva (Vishnu) and Surya, a narrow platform in the middle, and the thousand pillared hall in front. At the entrance to the temple is the Nandi Mandapam with a typical Kakatiya Nandi.

All of the three sancta are richly decorated with pilasters and bas reliefs. Although named the thousand pillared hall, the number of pillars here is about 300.

Other Kakatiya temples:
Enroute to Palampet from Warangal, there are the Katachpur and the Jakaram temples. At Ghanpur, further beyond Palampet, there is a temple resembling the Hanumakonda thousand pillared temple, surrounded by several shrines, all now in ruins.

How to reach:
by Road: APSTRC and Private buses connect Warangal with Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Karimnagar, Khammam and some other districts.
by Rail: Warangal has a railway station and is well connected by rail to important cities of India. by Air: The nearest airport is at Hyderabad, 157-km away.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Sammakka Saralamma Temple, Medaram, Andhra Pradesh, IN

Deities: Goddess Sammakka and Saralamm
Built in: 12th Century
Famous For: A major tribal pilgrimage center
Construction: World Heritage
Best time to visit: February

Andhra Pradesh is one of the states in India where various styles of temples are found. It is famous tribal Jathra in the midst of dense forest. Situated in Medaram, it is a small village in the forest, Warangal city in Andhra Pradesh. Lakhs of pilgrims pour into this spot biennially to have the blessings of mother Goddesses Sri Sammakka and Saralamma who have attained ‘Martydom’ at this sacred place in the battle held with the forces of Kakatiyas ruler Prathaparudra. Since then the Jathra is being celebrated biennially. Every two years, approximately 5 million people converge over thee.

Legend:
Legend has it that about 1,000 years ago, a group of Koya tribals passing through the region found a little girl playing with a tigress. The head of the tribe adopted and named her Sammakka. She married the headman of a neighbouring village and Sarakka was born to them.

Sammakka stood up against the Kakatiyas – who ruled Andhra from Warangal between 1000 and 1380 AD – when they tried to collect taxes from Koyas despite a severe drought. The rulers killed many tribals and Sammakka fought against them to avenge the killings.

During the fighting, Samakka and her daughter Sarakka were injured. She told the Koyas that as long as they remembered her, she would protect them. She cursed the Kakatiya dynasty that they would perish and disappeared into the forest.

Koyas searched for their queen but found only her bangles and the pugmarks of a tigress. Later, Muslim invaders destroyed the Kakatiya dynasty. Since then the tribals have been holding the fair in memory of the two women, whom they revere as goddesses. The undeterred resolve, honesty, uprightness and courage of two Girijan women, Sammakka and Saralamma.

Festival:
This is the biggest Girijan festival held here. Here Sammakka Jathara(Yatra) is celebrated once in two years on a very large – scale for three days before Magha Purnima Sammakka is a tribal goddess and the patrons and the priests are Koyas (A caste in tribals). All the tribals of Mulugu area and the thousands of other Hindus congregate there during the celebrations. There is no permanent idol of the deity.

Since then the Jathra is being celebrated biennially. The Government of Andhra Pradesh declared this holy jathra as State Festival.

The event, held once in two years, is also termed the tribal Kumbh Mela as the scenes here are similar to the religious mega-fairs held on the banks of the Gangas and the Narmada. The crowd during the four-day fair is expected to reach eight million, which began with the tribal priests bringing goddess Sarakka – also known as Saralamma.

The actual festival begins in the month of Magha, on Sudha Pournami (full moon day) evening when Sarakka (in the form of vermilion) would be traditionally brought from Kanneboyinapalle, a neighbouring village in the forest, and placed on a gadde, an earthen platform raised under a tree. By next sunset, the main goddess will be brought from Chilukalagutta. There are two goddess separately one for goddess “Sammakka” and other for goddess “Sarakka”. They are represented by bamboo sticks smeared with turmeric and vermilion (Pasupu and Kumkuma). Since time immemorial, there is a huge tree standing on Sammakka gadde. Offerings are coconuts and jaggery. They are piled at the foot of the trees.

Near By Attraction:
Thousand Pillar Temple
Jain Mandir Centenary
Baptist Church
Sri Venkateswara Temple
Keshavapuram

How to reach:
Medaram is connected to the other cities by road. The nearest airport is at Warangal.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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