In Pictures: The Regal Heritage of Telangana

In Pictures: The Regal Heritage of Telangana
The annual Bonalu festival is a big feast at Golconda Fort, and a great crowd puller, Photo Credit: Puneet K. Paliwal

Once ruled by the Kakatiya, Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi dynasties, Telangana's heritage and hospitality are legendary

Puneet K. Paliwal
November 09 , 2021
02 Min Read

The formation of Telangana in 2014 made headlines everywhere. Carved out of Andhra Pradesh, this area was once ruled by Hindu and Muslim monarchs, the evidence of which is still visible today. On a long journey in the state, I was keen to see and explore the diversity I’d heard so much about. Did you know that the region had emerged as the foremost centre of culture in the subcontinent during the rule of the Kakatiya, Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi dynasties?

On a trail through the ancient towns, the culture-rich city of Hyderabad, and tourist-friendly Warangal, exploring Telangana felt like a dream. I was stunned by the juxtaposition of the different cultures I came across; from architectural marvels to colourful festivals, delicious feasts to the warmth of local hospitality. I was particularly impressed by the massive forts and monolithic rock sculptures that bore exquisite and finely-carved details, made thousands of years ago. The elaborate minarets are now home to pigeons, always a highlight for photo-friendly tourists.


Mir Momin Astarawadi's 428-year-old architectural marvel, the Charminar is surrounded by the most vibrant market (Laad Bazaar) and some of the best eateries in the old part of the city

The western ivory collection at the Solar Jung Museum

The fine details of a gate at Warangal Fort

A close-up of the monolithic dolerite Nandi at the Thousand Pillar Temple in Hanamakonda

Inspired by the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad from 1893 to 1901, Nawab Sir Viqar-ul-Umara, decided to replicate details of the structure built at Begumpet

Milestone 48 on the highway, from where one can see a tiny structure on the isolated rock of Bhongir Fort. Local lore suggests there is a hidden underground tunnel connecting it to the bigger Golconda Fort

One of the many weaving looms in Warangal. The carpets made here are world famous

An abandoned, unknown structure upon a rock outside Warangal

The dying art of making wooden toys in Nirmal. A Naqqash artisan gives life to painted storks

The Toli Masjid in Hyderabad is also called the Damri Masjid. Its minarets are fine examples of Qutb Shahi architecture

The magnificent Chowmahalla Palace. The Nizams of Hyderabad would hold durbars under its massive chandeliers

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