Forts are always considered powerful structures of archeological significance, as they have played a key role in defenses and also in projecting the might of yesteryear dynasties and rulers.
Nagunuru Fort (also spelled Nagnoor) is one such majestic fort built by the rulers of Kakatiya dynasty. It is located in the village of Nagunuru, to the north of Karimnagar town.
The fort stands a great testimony to the royal splendor of the Kakatiya rulers. The fort complex here is home to ruins of a cluster of Kalyani Chalukya and Kakatiya era temples. The pillars and galleries of the historic Shiva temple here are quite attractive.
The origin of the temples found in the Nagunuru fort complex are traced back to the era of Kalyani Chalukyas and Kakatiyas. According to the local inscriptions and architectural features, this fort was developed around 1200-1300 AD under the royal patronage of the Kakatiyas, whose rule has witnessed many such historic structures being built all over Telangana. It is also believed that the fort housed around 400 temples in its heyday. Hence it has earned the name Nalugunovalu (400), which later became Nagunuru. The Nagunuru group of temples, situated in this picturesque location reflects the heritage glory and also the tourist potential of the region. The ruined temples which features splendid motifs are considered as architectural marvels, attracting historians.
The most significant temple in the complex is the Shiva temple, which encompasses a total of three shrines. The main entrance to this temple is located towards the northern side while there are three shrines facing the rest three directions. The temple was built using red stone, and the three shrines of the complex are placed on a raised pedestal, called Upapitha. The prominent portions of the temples involve intricate, elaborate and artistic sculptures which adorn the frames of the doors as well as massive beams which rest on the central pillar.
The manner in which the sculptures have been carved is considered quite unique and historic, also defying the age of the temple complex. The beams of the Shiva temple located in the fort complex features beautifully sculpted images of royal musicians with traditional Mridangam and other musical instruments, around the idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. There are panels discovered here, which have been carved skillfully with clear visuals of dancers in brilliant poses. The historic town of Nagunuru, is of great archaeological and tourist prominence with the ruined temples here attracting tourists and explorers alike.
How to Reach
Nagunur Fort is located nearly 10 km from Karimnagar, which is in turn located about 165 km from Hyderabad. Karimnagar is well-connected by road transport to Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.