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The Famed Kotagullu of Ghanpur

The region of Ghanpur in Jayshankar-Bhupalpally district of Telangana is renowned as a great heritage destination of Kakatiya architecture and art. In fact, the state of Telangana is characterized by the reign of Kakatiya, whose profound influence can be seen to this day in the form of several temples and monuments. The Ganapeshwara temple complex is located on the north east corner of Ghanpur village. There are nearly 22 temples which were constructed here within a stone enclosure.

The main temple i.e. Ganapeswaralayam here is dedicated to Lord Siva, which faces east. The 60 pillared natya mandapa to the southern side of the main temple is believed to be main entrance to the complex and shows the magnificent architectural style of Kakatiya rulers, who have created an indelible impact on this region in Telangana with their patronage for temples and monuments that remain strong to this day.

The ground floor displays objects and antiquities such as Terracotta figurines from Kondapur (Medak District), Peddabankur and Dhulikatta (Karimnagar District), Pochampad (Nizamabad District), Serupalli (Mahaboobnagar District), Yeleswaram (Nalgonda District) and Gollathagudi (Mahaboobnagar district).

There are 19 subsidiary shrines in rows all around the main temple, and there is another Siva temple, to the north of the main temple. All these structures are built in red sand stone. Later a mud fortification was raised all around the entire temple complex probably to protect them and hence, they are locally termed as “Kota gullu”. The inscriptions inscribed on the wall of Mukhamandapa of Ganapeswaralayam refers to the visit of Vibhutigaura, the resident of Srigiri, the house hold servant of Panditharadhya and a native of Machirajupalli near Orugallu.

The other inscription slab here refers to Ganapathi Reddy, who is believed to have installed Lord Ganapeshwara’s idol and donated lands during the reign of the king Ganapathi Deva (1199-1262 A.D.). The period is recorded as “Jaya Nama Samvatsara, Vaisakha Sudha Trayodasi, Bruhaspati Vasaram”, which corresponds to 1234-35 A.D. From the epigraphical evidences it is therefore considered that the temple was built during the first half of 13th Century A.D. The temple complex attracts visitors all-round the year and represents the pride of Kakatiya heritage in Telangana state. Ghanpur village is located nearly 50 km from Warangal and is well accessible by road transport.

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