The historic Thousand Pillar temple in the Hanamkonda town, the great legacy of Kakatiya kings, completed 850 years of existence luring tourists from across the globe.
Until few years ago, it was in bad shape with fallen columns, roof and broken statues and abandoned. It was a concerned citizen Gangu Upendra Sharma who took the initiative and turned it around. Since he started daily pujas, people began visiting the temple.
Three years ago, the Government of India sanctioned Rs. 3 crore for restoration of Kalayana Mandapam in 2005 which is being executed.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Gangu Upendra Sharma said “This was built on ‘Magha Shudda Trayodashi (Thursday)’ of Chitrabanu year of Shalivahanashakam which according to the Gregorian calendar is January 19 of 1163.”
The temple was built by Kakatiya king Rudradeva. The temple deity is Rudreshwara Swamy, a personification of Lord Shiva since the Kakatiya kings had a special devotion for Shiva.
The historians opined that the temple deity has actually been named after the king Rudradeva in line with the traditions of that time hence the name Sri Rudreshwara Swamy Temple.
According to retired Telugu professor Hari Siva Kumar, the temple came to be known as Thousand Pillar because there were about 300 pillars or shapes of pillars both small and big that make the temple complete.
The sculptural beauty of the temple is a reminiscent of the rich cultural of heritage of Kakatiya Kingdom.
The intricate designs and carvings at the temple have always been a riddle to common public visiting the temple from different parts of the country and the world.
Mr. Sharma laments that there was no adequate publicity given to this majestic structure.
“The Archaeological Survey of India should publish photographs and bring out a monograph for the benefit of tourists visiting this place,” he says.
He also wanted the State and Central governments to ensure early completion of ongoing restoration works on the Kalyana Mandapam.