Warangal ( ) is one of the two metropolitan cities in the Indian state of Telangana. It is the district headquarters of Warangal Urban District. Warangal is the second most populous city in the state, with the first being state capital, Hyderabad. As of 2011 census of India, it had a population of 753,538 and an area of 471 km2 (182 sq mi).
Warangal served as the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty which was established in 1163. The monuments left by the Kakatiyas include fortresses, lakes, temples and stone gateways which, in the present, helped the city to become a popular tourist attraction. The Kakatiya Kala Thoranam was included in the emblem of Telangana by the state government.
It is one of the eleven cities in the country to have been chosen for the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme by the Government of India. It was also selected as a smart city in the "fast-track competition", which makes it eligible for additional investment to improve urban infrastructure and industrial opportunities under the Smart Cities Mission.
During the Kakatiya rule, Warangal was referred with various names like Orugallu, Ekasila Nagaram, or Omatikonda all these means a 'single stone' referring to a huge granite boulder present in the Warangal fort. When the Kakatiya dynasty was defeated by Delhi Sultanate in 1323, ruler Juna khan conquered the city and renamed it as Sultanpur. Later Musunuri Nayaks recaptured Warangal in 1336 A. D. and named it Orugallu again.
Warangal was the ancient capital of Kakatiya dynasty. It was ruled by many kings such as Beta Raja I, Prola Raja I, Beta Raja II, Prola Raja II, Rudradeva, Mahadeva, Ganapathideva, Prataparudra and Rani Rudrama Devi who is the only woman to rule over Telugu region. Beta Raja I is the founder of Kakatiya Dynasty and ruled the kingdom for 30 years and was succeeded by his son Prola Raja I who shifted his capital to Hanamkonda.
During the rule of Ganapathideva, the capital was shifted from Hanamkonda to Warangal. Kakatiya Period Inscriptions praised Warangal as best city within all of Telugu region up to shores of the Ocean. The Kakatiyas left many monuments, including an impressive fortress, four massive stone gateways, the Swayambhu temple dedicated to Shiva, and the Ramappa temple situated near Ramappa Lake. The cultural and administrative distinction of the Kakatiyas was mentioned by Marco Polo. After the defeat of Prataparudra II, the Musunuri Nayaks united 72 Nayak chieftains and captured Warangal from Delhi Sultanate and ruled for fifty years. After the demise of the Nayaks, Warangal was part of the Bahmani Sultanate and then the Sultanate of Golconda.
The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb conquered Golconda in 1687, and it remained part of the Mughal empire until the southern provinces of the empire split away to become the state of Hyderabad in 1724, which included the Telangana region and some parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Hyderabad was annexed to India in 1948, and became an Indian state called as Hyderabad state. In 1956 Hyderabad state was partitioned as part of the States Reorganisation Act, and Telangana, the Telugu-speaking region of Hyderabad state, which includes Warangal, became part of Andhra Pradesh. After the Telangana movement, Telangana state was formed on 2 June 2014, warangal became part of Telangana State.
Warangal is located at . It has an average elevation of 302 metres (990 feet). It is settled in the eastern part of Deccan Plateau made up of granite rocks and hill formations which left the region barren making the cultivation dependent on seasonal rainfall. There are no major rivers flowing near the city, making it reliant on the Kakatiya Canal which originates from Sriram Sagar Project to meet the city's water requirements. Located in the semi-arid region of Telangana, Warangal has a predominantly hot and dry climate. Summer starts in March, and peak in May with average high temperatures in the 42 °C (108 °F) range. The monsoon arrives in June and lasts until September with about 550 mm (22 in) of precipitation. A dry, mild winter starts in October and lasts until early February, when there is little humidity and average temperatures in the 22–23 °C (72–73 °F) range. Many hill rocks and lakes are located around warangal. Padmakshi hill, mettu gutta, hanumathgiri gutta, ursu gutta and Govinda Rajula Gutta are famous hills with temples.
Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation is the civic body of the city, which oversees the civic needs. Established in 1899, it is one of the oldest urban local bodies in India. City planning is governed by the Kakatiya Urban Development Authority (KUDA), constituted in 1982 by the local government for the planning, development and management of the Kakatiya Urban Development Area. It has its jurisdictional area spread over 1,805 km2 (697 sq mi), covering 19 mandals, 181 villages in the three districts of Warangal Rural, Warangal Urban and Jangaon. As of 2016, the corporation has bagged a total of eleven awards in various categories, such as conservation, sanitation, heritage, etc.:6 For electoral purpose, the city is divided into 58 electoral wards, of which 50% are reserved for women. A total of thirty seats are reserved for BC's (19), SC's (9) and ST's (2) respectively.
In October 2012, the corporation conducted Clean Cities Championship, which invited professionals from 57 municipalities across the state for effective waste management and was won by Khammam Municipal Corporation. Following the event, Warangal became the first city in India to achieve 100% door-to-door MSW collection. About 70% of households started practicing two-bin MSW segregation into wet and dry waste. 420 cement bins and 128 dumpsters were removed from locations across Warangal making it a no dump city. GWMC was able to reduce the MSW going to landfill by 30% to 40%. and the dumpyard with significantly reduced load is, in phases, being converted into a nature park with vermicomposting sheds.
The urban police district, which is responsible for maintaining law and order in city and agglomerated areas around Warangal was converted into a Police Commissionerate by the state government in 2015. Inspector General will be working as police commissioner who is also given magisterial powers. There are around 19 police stations present under Warangal Police Commissionerate.
Agriculture is the main economic activity with irrigation depending mainly on monsoon and seasonal rainfalls. Major crops are paddy, cotton, mango and wheat. Warangal benefits from the Godavari lift irrigation scheme which is designed to lift water from the Godavari river to irrigate drought prone areas in the Telangana region.
The city hosts second-biggest grain market of Asia, located in Enumamula. Information Technology is another sector in which the city is making steady progress with its Incubation centre at Madikonda. Recently Tech Mahindra & Cyient have opened their development centres and many other IT majors like Mindtree, quadrant resource will be opening their offices shortly.
The city is connected to major cities and towns by means of road and railways. National and state highways that pass through the city are, National Highway 163, connecting Hyderabad and Bhopalpatnam; NH 563 connecting Ramagundam and Khammam; State highway 3. TSRTC operates buses to various destinations from Hanamkonda and Warangal bus stations of the city. Nearly 78 City buses run in various routes across the city and sub urban areas while 45 city buses run from city to nearby villages.
Warangal has two railway stations namely, Kazipet and Warangal on the important New Delhi-Chennai main line of Indian Railways. They are administered under the jurisdiction of the Secunderabad railway division of South Central Railway zone. Kazipet Junction shelters both Electric and Diesel Loco sheds with a capacity of holding 175 and 142 locomotives. Kazipet town, Vanchanagiri, Pendial, Hasanparthy Road railway station are the other railway stations within the city limits. The construction of third railway line between Balharshah and Kazipet was sanctioned at an estimated cost of ₹24.032 billion (US$340 million).
Warangal has an airport built by the Nizams at Mamnoor in 1930. It was largest airport in undivided India with 1,875 acres of land, a 6.6-km runway, a pilot and staff quarters, a pilot training centre and more than one terminal. Many cargo services and Vayudoot services were served. During the Indo-China war, it served as a hangar for government aircraft due to Delhi airport being a target in combat. It remained in service until 1981.
This airport is currently being used as NCC Training Centre by No. 4(A) air squadron for gliding sorties, skeet shooting and aero-modeling. There is no scheduled commercial air service from this airport at present.
Both government and private institutions has their presence in the city.
The residents of the city are often referred as Warangalites. The Warangal Fort, Thousand Pillar Temple and Ramappa Temple are the World Heritage sites recognised by UNESCO. Bhadrakali Temple, Padmakshi Temple, Kazipet Dargah, Mettu Gutta, Govinda Rajula Gutta, Ursu Gutta, and Erragattu Gutta are the other notable destinations of various religions. Bhadrakali Lake, Waddepally Lake, and Dharmasagar Lake are the water bodies notable for tourism.
Bhadrakali Temple lake is being developed into the largest first Geo-Bio-Diversity cultural park in the country, with promenades, historic caves, suspension bridges, natural trails, nesting ground and ecological reserves.
The Ministry of Tourism has awarded Warangal as the best heritage city, at the National Tourism Awards for the year 2014–2015. This is third time in a row for the city to get this award since 2012.
Festivals in the city include, a floral festival of Bathukamma being celebrated by women of the city, worshiping the goddess with different flowers for nine days. The women carry their Bathukamma to the nearest temple of their locality, then they clap, sing and dance rhythmically around the Bathukamma. Along with Bathukamma, Bonalu is also declared as a state festival on 15 June 2014. Other festivals are, Sammakka Saralamma Jatara (Medaram Jatara), a popular religious congregation in the honour of Goddess at Medaram of Warangal district.
The cuisine of the city is mainly of Deccan dishes. The breakfast items include Chapati, and Puri. Rice with variety of curries including curd is taken as main food and the most notable one is the Biryani. Special food items Harees and Haleem are traditional food items available in the season of Ramadan.