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Kakatiya Dynasty and Rulers: Explained

Kakatiya Dynasty is recently in news. The Kakati Devi temple was built by Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva in Dharanikota (Andhra Pradesh) that has been converted into an abode of local Goddess ‘‘Balusulamma’ (Goddess Durga).

Kakati Devi, the tutelary deity of Kakatiya rulers was the presiding deity at this 13th-century temple. The first king was Ganapati Deva who introduced the worship of Kakati Devi into the coastal region of Andhra and outside the dominions of his kingdom.

The temple has an architectural significance that is the ceiling bears decorations of lotus medallions and no sikhara on its top. These different architectural features are totally akin to their counterparts that are found in shrines at Hanamkonda and Warangal fort, etc.

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 About Kakatiya Dynasty

Kakatiya Dynasty flourished in the 12th century CE. It is an Andhra dynasty that ruled from Warangal (Telangana) from CE 1083-1323. At first, they were the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyana, ruling over a small territory near Warangal.

They were famous for the construction of a network of tanks for irrigation and drinking water. And this resulted in the development of the overall region.

A massive rejuvenation movement “Mission Kakatiya” was launched by Telangana which involves the restoration of irrigation tanks and lakes or minor irrigation sources that were built by the Kakatiya Dynasty.

The dynasty also saw powerful rulers like Ganapati Deva and Rudramadevi. Earlier, the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyana were the rulers like Betaraja I, Prolaraja I, Betaraja II and Durgaraja.

Prataparudra I was also called as Kakatiya Rudradeva. He was the son of the Kakatiya leader Prola II. It was under his rule that the Kakatiyas declared sovereignty. He ruled the kingdom till 1195 A.D.

Usage of Telugu language in inscriptions began under the rule of Prataparudra I.

Hanamakonda was the first capital of the Kakatiyas before the establishment of Orugallu/Warangal as the capital.

Sometime during Rudramadevi’s tenure, the great Italian traveller Marco Polo visited the Kakatiya Kingdom and made note of her administrative style that admires her extensively.

Art and Architecture of the Kakatiya Dynasty

Hundreds of Hindu temples built under the patronage of Kakatiya kings like Ganapati Deva, Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra of Kakatiya dynasty including

– Thousand Pillar Temple or Rudreshwara Swamy Temple, Telangana. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Surya and is a star-shaped, triple shrine (Trikutalayam).

– Ramappa Temple, Warangal, Telangana

– Golconda Fort in Hyderabad (Telangana). It was also constructed by the Kakatiya rulers. Later, it became the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings.

– In the 12th Century, the Rudramadevi’s father built the iconic Kakatiya Thoranam. This ornate arch has several similarities with the gateways at the Sanchi Stupa and is also the emblem of Telangana.

– Ganapathi Deva built the scenic Pakhal lake in Warangal.

– Another example of the exquisite Kakatiya Architecture was the 100 pillar temple in Warangal that was built during the Kakatiya Rule.

– It is said that the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, which is now among the jewels set in the British Crown, was mined and first owned by the Kakatiya Dynasty.

About the society of the Kakatiya Dynasty

Under the Kakatiya rule, the caste system was not rigid. Socially, it was not given much importance. People are free to choose any profession and were not bound to occupation by birth.

Finally, the Kakatiya rule came to an end in 1323 A.D when Warangal was conquered by the Ghiyasussin Tughlaq (Sultan of Delhi).

Note: This topic covers GS Paper 1. Also, Indian culture consists of the salient features of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times and so is important.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 22 September, 2020

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