At first sight, Gadwal, with its chaotic traffic and grimy streets, might come across as
At first sight, Gadwal, with its chaotic traffic and grimy streets, might come across asunderwhelming. However, once you venture out of the town into the surrounding countryside, the landscape takes a turn for the picturesque. While there are a few temples, forts and a dam here, the highlight is the majestic Ranganayaka Swamy Temple.
The Gadwal Fort, 2.5km northwest of the railway station, is the central landmark of the town. The bus station is next to the fort. The Haritha Hotel is on the outskirts of the town, along the road to NH 7.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
Peda Soma Bhupaludu (Somanadri), the ruler of Gadwal samasthanam, built a grand fort in the town between 1703 and 1710 CE. Before independence, the revenue of the region was ₹3,00,000 and the Nizam was paid a tribute of ₹86,840.
The citadel has now become largely dilapidated. Its main attraction is the Chenna Keshava Swamy temple complex. Next to the temple complex, there is a stepwell enclosed by arched pavilions.
The monument is now home to the M.A.L.D. Government Arts & Science College, which has taken over most structures within. The institution is also constructing newer buildings, further damaging the ruins within. Outside the fort, there is a 32-feet-long cannon – one of the largest in India – that Somanadri brought here after defeating the Nawab of Kurnool.
For people in the rest of Telangana, Gadwal is synonymous with saris. The unique feature of these handloom saris is that while the body is made from cotton, the border and the pallu are made of silk. While the silk is sourced from Bangalore, the gold and silver threads used in the embroidery are from Surat. The best of these saris are so finely woven that they can be folded and fit inside a matchbox. You can buy Gadwal sarees in the stores around Gandhi Chowk – Udai sari centre, Manju sari centre, JK saris and Chandana sari house.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT
Very few choices to stay are available in Gadwal. Telangana Tourism’s Haritha Hotel (Cell: 09705391200; Tariff: ₹700–1,200) with a restaurant and boating facilities, is the best option here. Sri Venkateswara Lodge (Tel: 08546-272933; Tariff: ₹450–1,100) offers basic accommodation only. The rooms have attached baths and there is room service as well.
Jayasree Restaurant is the best place to eat while here. Other decent places include Haritha Hotel’s restaurant and Hotel International. All offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian south Indian fare.
Chinna Chintharuvela (14km)
The Venkateshwara Swamy Temple, located in Chinna Chintharuvela, a village in Dharoor mandal, is a minor stopover for many tourists. The temple, located on the Korakondaiah Hill, is also known as Korakondaiah to devotees. Locals say that it is one of the oldest temples in the region. However, the present structure of the shrine was built about 25 years ago. The unique feature of the idol here is that it located between two hillocks. Those devotees from the region who are unable to make a pilgrimage to Tirupati come here instead.
In the nearby village of Pedda Chintaruvela, there is a temple dedicated to Anjaneya Swamy. The sanctum sanctorum here has an exquisite stone-carved idol of the deity. The villages are northwest of Gadwal, en route to Jurala Project.
Jurala Project (18km)
The Jurala Project (also known as Priyadarshini) is a dam on the Krishna river. Built in 1996, the hydroelectric project has a capacity of 11.94 TMC and a height of 1,045ft. The dam is significant for the state as it is the only one that has water throughout the year. There is a deer park, a Ramalayam and a Parthasarathi temple near by.
While the reservoir is not as scenic as the neighbouring Koilkonda, you can stop here if you are passing through. The lake is a popular destination for fishing and locals sell fresh catch along its banks. It also has a rich avian population.
The Ranganayaka Swamy Temple in Srirangapur is the most spectacular amongst the sights around Gadwal. Located on the banks of a lake known as Ratna Pushkarni, the temple makes for a very scenic day trip. The massive gopuram of the temple is replete with carvings. Inside, a pathway through manicured garden leads to the main shrine – a large, pillared hall with two sanctums. There is a stairwell at the back of the sanctum sanctorum that is supposedly the entry of a tunnel leading to another temple on an island in the middle of the lake. The island temple is in ruins though and the stairwell is locked. Next to the main shrine is a small pavilion. In the vicinity, there are minor temples and temple tanks. Drive along the bank of the lake for gorgeous views of the temple. The present structure of the temple is said to have been built by the rulers of Wanaparthy in the 18th century.
When to go All year round, but October to March is the most comfortable time for travel
Central Reservations Office
Department of Tourism
NSF Shakar Bhawan
Opp Police Control Room
Tel: 040-2980140, 66745986
STD code 08546
Air Nearest airport: Hyderabad (220km/ 5–6 hrs) is served by both domestic and international flights. A taxi to Gadwal costs around ₹2,000 (including diesel)
Rail Gadwal Railway Station is served by the August Sampark Kranti Express from Secunderabad Jn. From Kacheguda Raliway station, trains available are Bangalore Express, Jaipur-Mysore Express, Kacheguda-Chennai-Egmore Express and Kacheguda-Guntur Passenger. Autos are readily available just outside the station
Road It’s a smooth ride down NH7 to Pebbair via Shamshabad, Kendoor, Addakal and Kothakota. Continue to Gadwal Fort, a little after which you turn right on to the Gadwal Road. Gadwal is about 16km from the fort
Bus From Hyderabad’s Mahatma Gandhi Bus Stand (Tel: 040-23434268) the non-AC Express bus costs ₹120
Location Southwestern part of Mahbubnagar District
Distance 190km S of Hyderabad
Route From Hyderabad NH 7