I had just upgraded my gear during the week – to a Full Frame Camera and a Wide Angle Lens from my first DX format Nikon Kit and my itchy feet just couldn’t wait for the weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and test it.
I love road trips. Not only do they add a sense of adventure to one’s photo making journeys but they also make for that perfect blend of individual and social moments, a time to reflect as well as bond. Be it the feel of the road slipping from underneath the tyres as you listen to music or the feel of the wind in your face as you simply contemplate life to when you are stopping along the highway for some not so healthy but interesting food.
& when I joined hands with CEAT my Sunday only got that much sweeter and a Road Trip to Karimnagar seemed to be answer! A two and half hour drive from Hyderabad, this district in Telangana is peppered with numerous forts and ancient ruins, making it the ideal day trip destination for some exploration and a bit of photography both.
Stop 1: Molangur Fort
Built atop a massive granite hillock during the reign of Prathapa Rudra of the Kakatiya Dynasty, this once important fort is today nothing but a ruin listed on the archaeological department’s protected sites. The large scale granite quarrying happening in and around this fort is only adding to the structural damage of this site and ruins of the palaces and the megalithic burials are barely discernible.
Stop 2: Elgandal Fort
On the banks of the river Godavari, sitting atop a hill in the 800 year old village of Elgandal is this ancient fort on the verge. Built by Zafar Ud Dowla in 1754 AD, the Teen Minar of the Alamgir Mosque are the most striking feature of this stronghold that has passed through five dynasties over time.
Stop 3: Manthani Ruins
Another timeless village to have flourished on the banks of Godavari in Karimanagar is Manthani. Home to the ruins of the Gautameswara Temple, it also referred to as Mantrapuri i.e The Town of Hymns. Work is underway to put back this beautiful stone temple to how it once stood and meanwhile there is a new, fully functional temple on the premises.
Read: Town of Hymns: Manthani
Stop 4: Nagunur Ruins
Right at the centre of the village of Nagunur is a cluster of Kalyana and Kakatiya temple ruins. The most significant of which is the Trikuta Temple built by the Chalukyas of Kalyani. Though built in the same style as the Manthani temple, this is in much better shape with the three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva showing evidence of continuing worship.
Other stops on this trip were the town of Karimnagar and Dhulikatta. But, by the time we reached the Buddhist site, there was a deluge and the 2 km walk along the dirt path through the fields was ruled out. Though it might seem that monsoons played spoilt sport, I have no regrets for if not now there is always the next road trip. 🙂
& with the setting sun behind us, having covered over 550 Kms on this CEAT adventure, we were already homeward bound just in time for some coffee.