Kakatiya dynasty: The golden age of Telugu civilization

Kakatiya dynasty: The golden  age of Telugu civilization

Warangal was a cynosure of all eyes during the celebrations of World Heritage Week from April 12 to 18. All the temples built by the Kakatiyas in the...

Warangal was a cynosure of all eyes during the celebrations of World Heritage Week from April 12 to 18. All the temples built by the Kakatiyas in the 12th and 14th century in and around Warangal city were renovated and decorated so that the people of Warangal might appreciate the beauty of their sculptures. During nights the temples were illuminated with hundreds of colourful electric bulbs. The city had the rare distinction of being declared as the Best Heritage City of India in 2012 by the Tourism Department of India. Everybody in Warangal was very happy. To commemorate this happy occasion, AP Tourism Development, Indian Archeological Department, INTACH and Kakatiya Heritage Trust jointly organized week-long World Heritage celebrations in and around Warangal city. As April 18 happens to be the World Heritage day, the celebrations concluded on that day with a dance performance by Padma Bhushan Swapna Sundari at the world famous Ramappa temple. The highlights of this weeklong World Heritage Celebrations were: The inaugural function on at Warangal Fort. Anand Shankar Jayanth gave a dance performance at the famous venue of Swayambhu temple built by the Kakatiya Emperors. On the 14th,, a seminar was organized on the "Best Heritage City of India, Warangal ", in which Municipal Commissioner Vivek Yadav, Prof Pandu Ranga Rao of INTACH, Prof Suprasannachary, well known litterateur, Dr Ampasayya Naveen, Central Sahitya Akademi awardee, Prof Hymavati, professor in History, Kakatiya University, Dr. Nandini Siddareddy, well known poet, Surya Kumar, Lecturer in History, participated.
On the 15th, two historically significant books brought on this occasion by Kakatiya Heritage Trust were released by Governor of Andhra Pradesh E S L Narasimhan at Hyderabad. The books are: English Translation of Nritya Ratnavali, a treatise on dance written by Jayapa Senani in the 13th century (1253 AD) in Sanskrit. Jayapa was an army commander during the reign of the greatest Emperor of the Kakatiya dynasty Ganapathi Deva. This Sanskrit work was translated into English by Dr.P Venugopala Rao and Dr. Yashoda Thakore. The other book, which they called the Coffee Table book, is actually an illustrated book on Kakatiya dynasty written by Birad Rajaram Yajnik. It is embellished with both black & white and multicolour photographs of sculptural wonders chiseled by the sculptors on the temple built. The climax of these celebrations was on the 18th at Ramapppa temple. The day also happened to be the 800th birth anniversary of Ramappa temple. A befitting ceremony was held on that day. Famous dancer Swapna Sundari came from New Delhi to perform a 'Valasini' dance around Ramappa temple. She performed this unique dance in a unique way. She didn't dance on the stage but on the platforms in and around Ramappa. She started her dance right from the sanctum sanctorum and then danced all around the platform of the temple. The first ruler of the Kakatiyas was Gundaya Raju who ruled between 956 and 996 A.D. Beta Raju, who succeeded him, had his capital city at 'Kakatipuram'. They worshipped Goddess Kakati as their tutelary deity and hence the dynasty came to be known as "Kakatiyas". In the beginning, Kakatiyas were the vassals of Chalukya kings. From 1110 AD onwards they asserted themselves as independent rulers. Hanamkonda was their first capital. Prolaraju II, who ruled from 1110 to 1158, extended his sway towards south and declared his independence. His successor, Rudra Deva (1158 to 1195) pushed his kingdom to the north up to the Godavari delta. Rudra Deva built the famous Thousand Pillar Temple in Hanamkonda in 1150. It was originally called Rudrashwara Temple as Rudra Deva built it. Rudra Deva was succeeded by his brother Mahadeva who extended the kingdom to the coastal area. In 1199 AD, his son Ganapathi Deva succeeded him. Ganapathi Deva Chakravarthi (Emperor) was the greatest of all the Kakatiyas and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu-speaking area under one rule. He shifted the capital from Hanumakonda to Warangal. The capital city was called "Orugallu", as the city was built around one piece of rock ('orugallu' literally means 'one rock'). He started construction of the earthen bund and a rock fort around the city to make it impregnable. Ganapathi Deva ruled for 63 years and his rule saw all round development. After him his daughter Rudrama Devi occupied the throne and she was the first lady to come into power in the history of South India. Though Ganapathi Deva had two sons, he enthroned his daughter as he felt she was more efficient and chivalrous than her younger step-brothers. Some generals, who did not like being ruled by women, rebelled against her. But she could suppress not only internal rebellions but also external invasions and proved herself a competent ruler and daring military commander. She completed the forts started by her father around the city of Orugallu. Rudrama Devi died in a battle with Kayastha chief Ambadeva on 27th November 1289 and her grandson Prataparudra came to power in 1289. Prataparudra was the last emperor of the Kakatiyas. During his rule, Muslim rulers of Delhi Sultanate started invading the southern provinces. Allauddin Khilji and after him Mohammad bin Tuglak waged wars against the Kakatiya empire. Though Prataparudra could withstand the attack for some time, he ultimately succumbed. In 1323, Prataparudra surrendered to the Muslim forces and was taken prisoner. Prataparudra is said to have committed suicide by drowning himself in river Narmada while being taken to Delhi. Thus the glorious Kakatiyan Empire came to a tragic end. Kakatiyans are remembered to this day by the irrigation tanks built by them all over the empire. The 24,000 tanks built by them stand as testimony to the importance they gave to agriculture.
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