From serenity to frenzied devotion, revelry

Laknavaram Lake: Aerial view of two suspension bridges and lake in Mulugu District
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Laknavaram Lake: Aerial view of two suspension bridges and lake in Mulugu District

Highlights

The better part of erstwhile Warangal district that once prettied in the serenity is now a beehive of hectic activity

The better part of erstwhile Warangal district that once prettied in the serenity is now a beehive of hectic activity. It all began with the growing popularity of the biennial Medaram Sammakka Saralamma Jatara that was once confined only to the aboriginals started to draw the patronage of non- tribals as well. The bus service to the Medaram Jatara introduced by the State-owned RTC in 1966 brought about a metamorphosis in the region (spread in Mulugu district) with the people making a beeline to visit the tribal deities. The main Jatara, said to be Asia's largest tribal fair, which attracts no less than one crore devotees is on top of the chart in terms of visitors to this region.

The 800-year-old Ramappa, a creative masterpiece of that time, which manifests the sculptural and architectural magnificence of Kakatiya Dynasty, is one of the most visited sites in Telangana. The temple is no more just Telangana's pride, as it made a dream entry into the elite list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The universal value of the temple is that it was built with bricks so light that they can float on water. The temple is also known for many wonders such as sand box foundations and exquisite carvings. The tourist footfall to Ramappa is expected to grow exponentially as it is now inscribed as a world heritage site.

The enchanting beauty of Laknavaram Lake, built by the Kakatiya Kings in 13th Century, is another breathtaking attraction in this part of the world. The number of visitors grew exponentially since the construction of a suspension (hanging) bridge connecting the Kakarakaya Bodu island in the Laknavaram Lake in 2008. Night camping, jungle safari, forest cycling, boating, kayaking, trekking, bullock cart ride etc have added more spice to the lake tourism. Adding more to it recently, the authorities installed another suspension bridge.

Construction of a 1.78-km-long high-level bridge across the River Godavari between Mullakatta and Pusuru in 2016 is seen as a major development. It not only reduced the distance between Hyderabad and Bhoopalapatnam but also allowed people to visit Bogatha Waterfalls in Wajedu mandal. The only motorable road available in the past to access the waterfalls was via Bhadrachalam. Five years down the line, Bogatha witnessed a rapid transformation with the government pumping in funds to improve the facilities. Adding more spice to the scenic beauty of the waterfalls, the forest department also set up adventure sports such as 250-meter zipline and zipline bike.

Of late, tourists crisscrossing this part of the region have also started to visit Hemachala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Mallur under Mangapet mandal. Gattamma temple, located on the NH-163, is already drawing a huge number of devotees. These apart, Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, Pandavula Gutta that houses rock art and also ideal for adventure sports, Tadvai huts, trekking to Blackberry islands, Kongala waterfalls, also known as Dusaloddi, etc also drawing tourist patronage. "The eerie silence that once prevailed in the northeast part of erstwhile Warangal is no more a serene place. Even though there is a lot to explore, the region has already become a popular destination in Telangana," historian Aravind Arya Pakide told The Hans India.

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