Warangal region in Telangana needs no special introduction, as the place was ruled by Kakatiyas for a long time. The influence of Kakatiyas can be seen everywhere in the region, which is dotted by several temples and other heritage monuments.
The Thousand Pillar Temple or Rudreshwara Swamy Temple is one such historic Hindu shrine. It is located in the town of Hanmakonda. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu gods of Vishnu, Shiva and Surya. It is located close to the Hanmakonda-Warangal Highway in Telangana. There are hundreds of Hindu temples built under the patronage of Kakatiya kings like Ganapati Deva, Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra of Kakatiya dynasty.
According to historical evidence, Thousand Pillar Temple was constructed between 1175–1324 AD following the orders of Kakatiya king Rudra Deva. It is considered a masterpiece and achieved great glory for its architectural skills by the vishwakarma sthapathis of that era. Rudreswara Temple, also known as Veyyisthambala Gudi (Thousand pillars temple) in Telugu is one of the earliest structures, reflecting the glory of Kakatiya art, architecture and sculpture. Since this temple was built by Rudra Deva, it has been after him as ‘Sri Rudreswara swamy temple’ Here the presiding deity is Rudreswara.
The construction of this shrine was started in 1163 AD in Chalukyan and early Kakatiya Architecture style. It is a star-shaped, triple shrine (Trikutalayam). The temple is considered a fine example of architecture and sculptural glory. The foundations have been strengthened using the sand box technique.
The skill of Kakatiya sculptors is manifested in the adroit craftsmanship as well as the flawless carving techniques in their art. The ingenuity of the Kakatiya era sculptors is clearly seen in the art of lathe turned, and polished dolerite and granite stone sculptures and the exquisite craft works of Nava rangamandapa. The temple is known for its richly carved pillars, perforated screens, special icons like rock-cut elephants and monolithic dolerite Nandi.