Warangal Fort, in the present-day Indian state of Telangana, appears to have existed since at least the 12th century. The fort was then the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty. The fort has four ornamental gates which originally formed the gates to the now defunct great Shiva temple which are known as Kakatiya Kala Thoranam or Warangal Gates. The feature of these historical arches has been adopted as the symbol of the Kakatiya dynasty and has been officially incorporated into theEmblem of Telangana.

Initially Warangal was under the rule of the Yadava kings in the 8th century and later it came under the control of the Kakatiya dynasty from the 12th century. Although precise dating of its construction and subsequent enhancements are uncertain, historians and archaeologists generally accept that an earlier brick-walled structure was replaced with stone by Ganapatideva, who died in 1262, and that his successors were his daughter Rudrama Devi, who ruled till 1289, and then her grandson Prataparudra II. Under Prataparudra II’s powerful rule, this came to be known as a “Golden Age”. But 20 years later his kingdom, was conquered by the Sultans of Delhi.

Ganapatideva, Rudramadevi and Prataparudra II all added to the fort’s height, and they built gateways, square bastions and additional circular earthen walls. This places the construction towards the end of theKakatiya period.

The area within the fort has an axial road laid in an east-west direction where there is now some human habitation. The central part of the fort has been identified as the archaeological zone where the ruins of the great Shiva temple are now seen with only the freestanding “Entrance Portals” or gates on the four sides. Each gate has twin pillars with angled brackets over which lies the huge lintel; the height of this gate is 10 metres (33 ft). The gates have extensive intricate carvings of “lotus buds, looped garlands, mythical animals, and birds with foliated tails”. It does not depict any religious symbols which is said to be the reason for its preserved condition and not getting destroyed by the Muslim invaders. Of the four gateways (local namecharkamou), the northern and southern ends are 480 feet (150 m) apart. The eastern and western gates are a distance of 433 feet (132 m) from each other.

While the Shiva temple has been completely destroyed, there are many ruins of “wall slabs, brackets and ceiling panels”, some of which are exhibited now in an outdoor museum. There are still some standing pillars (“temple spoilia”) that theBahamanis earlier used to build a mosque, which remained incomplete. Also seen among the ruins is a relic of a mihrab.

The original deity of the temple was a linga with four faces of Shiva, which is now deified in a separate shrine to the south of the fort complex, where regular worship is offered. Archaeological excavations in the area have also unearthed many small shrines, built in a series, deified with avotive linga.

There are many inscriptions on the ruins of the wall of the main temple recording the gift of a Kakatiya king, on pillars, on a stone outside the fort, and at many more places, all in Telugu language.