|Warangal Fort, Warangal Goibibo|
|Warangal. Tlengana. View of Kakatiya Kala Toranamen.wikipedia.org|
The impressive features of this historic fort are the beautifully ornamented gates, commonly known as Kakatiya Kala Thoranam, that originally formed the entrances to a now ruined great Shiva temple. The gates speak volumes of the workmanship of the talented sculptors. The new state of Telengana has officially adopted and incorporated it into the Emblem of Telangana after the state bifurcation in the recent past.
|Delhi sultanate destruction.Temple Warangal fort, Telangana,|
|Warangal Fort, inner part. Crazy Holidays|
This siege was chronicled by Amir Khusrow. After Kafur's departure in March 1310, with a bounty of 2,000 camels loaded with Kakatiya treasures, it was agreed that Pratapa Rudra would pay an annual tribute to the Sultan of Delhi. After Kafur's departure, Pratapa Rudra continued his reign, but some of his vassal chieftains had declared themselves independent rulers of their small kingdom. But in 1311 Pratapa Rudra was compelled to support the Sultan on his raid to the Pandyan kingdom in southern Tamil Nadu where the Pandyan brothers were at each others' throat to capture the throne. Kaufer took advantage of this bad situation to his favour and looted the Pandya kingdom and also caused severe damage to the world famous Madurai Meenakshi temple. The sultan helped the Kakatia ruler get back his lost vassals under his control. The Pandyan kingdom lost quite a bit of expensive treasures to the Delhi Sultanate army.
Later from 1318, Pratapa Rudra was on a collision course with the Delhi ruler and had to be subdued by the military power of the Delhi Sultanate. This time the Delhi forces accessed the fort by building a tall ramp (450 feet) and Pratapa Rudra had to cough up tribute by way of horses and elephants, etc., annually.
When Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq became the ruler after Khailji, again the ruler of Warangal wilfully defaulted on his annual payment to the Delhi sultans Tughluq, sent his son Ulugh Khan to recover the dues. Ulugh Khan could not proceed to attack the kingdom due to internal problems and then he came back in 1323 with a well trained army of 65,000 mounted merciless soldiers carrying archery, attacked the fort, and plundered and destroyed the capital. Prataparudra's force was no match for the Delhi sultanate forces, for they used powerful cannons, besides special catapults to lop stone missiles at the fort. Ulugh Khan's army plundered and destroyed the capital.
As it was their wont among some of the repressive Muslim rulers. General Ulugh Khan ordered destruction of the great Swayambhusiva Temple where the State deity had been deified. What was once a beautiful temple in a short time became of mound of rubbish and broken stones. It is in ruins now with remnants scattered around the fort. Then the Tughluq rulers built an enormous mosque to one side of the fort. Having become desolate, Pratab Rudra was upset and was sent to Delhi. It is said that on the way near Godhavari he died. Some historians believe that he committed suicide after his debacle in the war. Warangal became Sultanpur and the Delhi rulers stuck to their rule here till 1335. The local Nayak rulers jointly attacked and took control. The Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golconda and later under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad adminitered the this region.
The fort has some amazing features and let us see them in the next post. The chief attraction is the thousand pillar temple which is usually not accessible to the general public, and the smaller sculptures carved from an unidentified black stone. On 10 September 2010 ,the Monument was submitted by the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO to recognise it as one of the world heritage sites. The Fort is already included on the "tentative list" of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The treacherous military general Ulugh Khan, having captured and plundered Warangal, then moved on down south in the same year 1323. This time, his target was Srirangam Ranganathar temple and its vast treasures.
According to 'Koyilozhugu,' a true record of events relating to Srirangam temple, the main shrine - sanctum was well protected by groups of staunch devotees, each entrusted with the main task of guarding the temple and its sanctity. They came to know about the raid well in advance and were very particular about protecting the temple and the precious idols in the sanctum. In the ensuing battle against the well-equipped armed ruthless butchers from Delhi, the unarmed and defenceless people were no match. Caught unawares, the devotees could not do anything to stop them. In the aftermath, temple record points out that 12,000 Vaishnavites (in Tamil - 'Pannerayiravar mudi tiruthiya pandriazhwan mettu kalagam') lost their precious lives in the process of saving the temple and the remaining people left the place and settled down in adjacent villages such as Tirupachil (now known as Pachoor), Govarthanakudi (now called Kovathakudi), Tiruvarangapatti and Azhagiya Manavalam.
Nithya (daily) puja protocol meant for Lord Ranganatha Swamy was performed to Sri Adhinayaka Perumal idol in Gopurapatti till the normalcy was restored in Srirangam and the temple was consecrated by the pundits. Tradition has been that to mark annual rituals of homage, the 'Sirartham'(Thith) is being performed on Adi Amavasai every year on the banks of the Vaikkal. This was to pay homage to 12,000 vaishnavites who scarified their lives to save the idols in the Grabagraha (Sanctum or Sri Kovil).