Formed on the 2nd of June, Telangana was earlier part of the Hyderabad state from the end of 1948 to 1956. Later it was merged into the state of Andhra Pradesh. Decades of movements finally led to the passing of the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Bill in both the houses of the Parliament. Telangana is famously known as the region where the amalgamation of two cultures take place, North and South. The word Telangana is derived from the word Trilinga. According to theories, it has been named after Lord Shiva’s lingams that are found on the three mountains of Srisailam, Kaleshwaram and Draksharama. All three are located on the borderline of Telangana. It is also because, during the reign of Nizams, it was called as Telugu Angana to avoid any form of confusion from the areas that spoke Marathi
Telangana is said to have been ruled by the many great dynasties such as the Sathavahanas, Kakatiyas, Chalukyas, Mughals, Qutubshahis and Asafjahis. All the rulerships have led to the phenomenal contribution of making the state what it is today in terms of history and architecture. That is why many tourists seek to visit the state, as they get a great peek into the ancient historical eras.
Telangana is regarded as the youngest state in the Union of India. However, not many know that its incredible history dates back to around two thousand five hundred years. This has been affirmed through the existence of megalithic stone structures such as cairns, cists, dolmens and menhirs. This led to proving that there was human existence in this part innumerable years ago.
Telangana shares its capital Hyderabad with its fellow neighbouring state, Andhara Pradesh. The popular Char Minar is also shared among the two states. However, that is not the only iconic memorial that the state has to offer. There are many impeccable historicals monuments, nature’s creations, temples and much more that make it one of the most prestigious southern spots to witness.
Following are some of the most popular as well as impressive places to visit in the Indian state of Telangana.
Warangal is one of the most prestigious ancient cities of India. The city is located 145 kilometres away from the popular city of Hyderabad. Earlier known as Ekasila Nagaram, Warangal was the former capital of the Kakatiya kingdom from the twelfth century to the fourteenth century. It is said that the Prola Raja of the great Kakatiya dynasty was behind the formation of Warangal in the twelfth century. Its rulership of almost two hundred years has led to the formation of various heritage monuments and structures such as the Warangal fort, Swayambhu Temple, the thousand pillar temple, Bhadrakali temple, Khush Mahal and many more. The main highlight of Warangal is the iconic Warangal fort. The fort truly depicts a great level of perfection and architectural brilliance. The four ornamented gates of the Warangal Fort now stand as the prestigious emblem of the Telangana state. Sadly the city stands in ruins today. But in no way can you take away its glorious cultural and historical essence. Even today visitors are fascinated with the visuals they get to witness in Warangal.
Located at a distance of 260 kilometres is the popular Papikondalu in Telangana. The beautiful hilltop of Papikondalu is known to serve some of the most picturesque views which are surrounded by the sparkling waters of the River Godavari, one of the largest rivers of India. The Papi hills are devised by three hills that further form a stunning canyon on the Godavari River, spread across East Godavari and West Godavari districts. Just recently Papikondalu was declared as a protected National Park. Due to this reason, it was named as one of the top places to experience in Telangana. Originally the place was named Papidikondalu. It is also believed that the place was visited by Lord Rama and Goddess Sita during their exile period.
Various tribal communities are known to inhabit the place who basically survive on agriculture, fishing and craftsmanship. The hilltop is fun to visit as it offers various adventure activities to opt for such as camping and trekking. To truly enjoy Papiukondalu you should opt for a boat ride from Rajahmundry to Bhadachalam. The boat allows a total of five people to board. Whereas the river streamers have a capacity of sixty passengers.
3. NAGARJUNA SAGAR DAM
The Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is one of the most iconic landmarks of Telangana. It is regarded as one of the largest dams built in the entire Asian continent. Hence, it is also marked as a matter of honour and pride not just for the state but also for the entire nation. It stretches magnificently up to an area of 215000 sq.km leaving visitors in a state of astonishment. Adding to its list of feat, the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam also has the largest canal system in India. The dam has a height of 150 metres and stretches 16 kilometres in length. It is capable of storing nearly 11,472 million cubic meters with an irrigation capacity for 10 acres of land. The Nagarjunasagar Dam is known to be the first irrigation project to be initiated by the Indian Government as an integral part of the Green Revolution. The project officially began in February 1956. But due to lack of good equipment during that time, the dam was entirely built with stones instead of concrete. Its construction finally commenced in 1972. To initiate more tourist attraction a lake was also built behind the dam. The lake is regarded as the third largest man-made lake anywhere in the world. To truly enjoy here you should opt for an incredible boating experience. Telangana Tourism operates a regular cruise service for visitors. Motorboats also operate between the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir and the island of Nagarjunakonda.
Located in the Khammam District of Telangana is the popular pilgrimage town Bhadrachalam. According to ancient mythological stories, the town was earlier a part of the Dandakaranya forest which was visited by Lord Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana during their exile period. The entire vicinity of the jungle that was Lord Rama’s retreat point is now a part of the Lord Sri Rama temple. The Parnasala which Lord Rama built for himself and Goddess Sita, is also a part of the Lord Sri Rama temple. It is also the place where Ravana abducted Goddess Sita. Another magnificent temple to visit here is the Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple which valiantly depicts the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. This is clearly visible through the carvings on the walls of the temple. One of the highlights of the temple is the phenomenal idol of Lord Rama. The idol portrays both Lord Vishnu and Lord Rama. The temple also showcases an idol of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, sitting on his lap. The temple is the hub of many festivals during the months of March and April. The iconic Godavari river that Lord Rama crossed to save Goddess Sita is surely not to be missed.
5. KUNTALA WATERFALLS
Located in the Adilabad district of Telangana are the scenic Kuntala waterfalls. The journey from Nirmal to the falls is one of the most thrilling experiences to encounter. The path stretches up to a distance of 10 kilometres that takes you through a dense forest, green fields and provides you with great adventure encounters that you will surely cherish. Hence, it is perfect for people who seek such experiences. However one needs to be extremely careful when touring as there is no signboard that will direct you to the waterfalls. After making your way through the forest you will come across a flight of 408 steps. Though these steps are a lot, what you will witness after accomplishing them will make it all worth it. Many people have described their experience of witnessing the Kuntala Waterfalls as phenomenal. Words will feel short to describe this impeccable phenomenon of nature. Many people choose to walk towards the foot of the falls, but in order to reach there, you will have to trek through the big boulders. The streams of water that split up, make Kuntala Waterfalls one of the most picturesque waterfalls in India to visit.
Located in the state of Telangana is the town of Nalgonda. It was earlier known as Nilagiri by the Rajput rulers, but after being conquered by the Bahamani king its name was changed into Nalgonda. The town is visited by many pilgrimages throughout the year for its numerous sacred spots. One of the most popular tourist spots in the town is the Yadagirigutta temple that witnesses a huge crowd of devotees, especially during the festival season. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. It is said that the temple has also been featured in the holy Skanda Purana. Visit here in March as the temple wholeheartedly celebrates the auspicious festival of Brahmotsavam. Another popular temple of Nalgonda is the Chaya Someswara Swamy temple in the Panagal village. The temple was built by the Ikshvaku between the eleventh and twelfth century. It is well-known and famous for having a shadow of Lord Shiva Lingam. Many other temples were also built under the rulership of the former historical kings such as the Swayambhu Sambhu Lingeswara Swamy temple which depicts the astonishing Kakatiya architecture. Apart from this some of the other places you should visit in Nalgonda includes the Sri Jain Mandir, Bhuvanagiri fort and many more.
A place of rich heritage is what aptly describes the city of Nizamabad in Telangana. The city is located at a distance of 175 kilometres from Hyderabad and 147 kilometres from Karimnagar. Surrounded by surreal beauty, many tourists love visiting here for an experience wrapped into a rich history. A great peak into the olden dynasties that have left their footprints in Nizamabad is what one can expect. The numerous monuments display an exquisite style of intricate architecture. One of the most famous places to go in Nizamabad is the grand Nizamabad Fort. The fort was built during the rulership of the Rashtrakutas by the great Chatrapati Shivaji in the tenth century at the top of a 300-metre hill. Despite going through numerous transformations and renovations, the Nizamabad Fort still stands as a phenomenal sight to witness with its huge corridors, mandaps and maha mandapa. The other places that are worth visiting in Nizamabad include the Alisagar Reservoir, Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary, Archaeological and Heritage Museum, Kanteshwar, Pochampad Dam and more.
Situated in the district of Telangana is the fourth largest city, Khammam. Located 200 kilometres away from Hyderabad, it is well-known for housing many coal reserves in the region of Singareni. Apart from this Khammam inhabits a unique cultural and historic presence. It also enjoys being one of the booming wildlife spots in Telangana. Khammam is located on the banks of the river Munneru. The river descends from the waters of the mighty river Krishna. To witness the famous history of the place you should definitely visit the Khammam Fort. The fort is popular in the entire state of Telangana as it showcases the rulership of the former rulers. A unique blend of age-old architecture can be witnessed on its tall walls. The Khammam fort is said to be built by three rulers, the Kakatiya rulers in the 950s, Velama Kings and Musunuri Nayak. The later part was developed by the Qutub Shahi kings in 1531. A hand-woven flag is hoisted on top of the fort depicting prosperity and bravery. The fort is situated in the exact centre of Khammam and can easily be reached for people travelling by road.
Known as the twin city of Hyderabad, Secunderabad is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Telangana. The city has been named after Sikandar Jah who was the third Nizam of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. Established in 1806, Secunderabad and Hyderabad together form the fifth-largest metropolis in India. The city was established as a cantonment area where they successfully managed to defeat the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The city is also regarded for being the largest cantonments in India. This is the reason why a herd of the army and air force personnel can be frequently seen. A vivid influence of the Nizam rule can be seen running around the entire city. Though many feel that Secunderabad still has a bit of British touch as it was under its rulership till 1948. Some of the places to visit in Secunderabad include the Secunderabad Clock Tower, Shamirpet Lake, Hussain Sagar Lake, Peddamma Temple, Paigah palace, the All Saints Church and many more. If you wish to explore more around then you can choose to head 6 kilometres further to Hyderabad or witness the iconic Group of Monuments at Hampi which is 380 kilometres away.
Chilkur is marked as a popular pilgrimage spot in the state of Telangana. A small quaint village, it is majorly known for its famous Chilkur Balaji temple. Located on the banks of the Osman Sagar Lake, the temple witnesses a large crowd of devotees from around the country every year. The temple is known to be one of the oldest temples of Telangana as it is estimated to have been built approximately five hundred years ago. The Chilkur Balaji temple is considered as an alternative of the iconic and prestigious Tirumala temple in Tirupati. Dedicated to Lord Balaji Venkateswara, Sridevi and Bhoodevi, the place is marked as one of the most auspicious places to visit in Telangana. Many visitors that choose to visit here are said to be moved by the great zeal of divinity that accomplishes the purpose of their visitation. According to popular stories, the Chilkur Balaji Temple was built by a devotee who sadly could not visit the Tirupati temple due to health reasons. Since then the people who cannot visit the Tirupati temple, come here. The Chilkur temple is famously also known as the ‘Visa Balaji temple.’ It is said that the temple fulfils the wishes of devotes aiming to successfully get a visa.