WARANGAL FORT (17° 56’ N; 79° 38’ E) during the time of Ganapati Deva (1199-1261 C.E.) and his daughter Rudramba (1261-1295 C.E.) the capital was shifted from Hanumakonda to Warangal - Orugallu - the famous Ekasila Nagari. Warangal is characterised by three concentric circuits of fortifications believed to have been laid out during Ganapatideva's time. The circular fortification of the city is well recognised on the ground visually. The map and aerial photographs confirm this pattern. As pointed out by George Michael, the symbolic meaning of this circular layout lies in its cosmic significance somewhat was reflecting the universal character a Chakravartin Kshetra. The first that is the inner most is of massive granite stone blocks and 1.2 km, in dia. with gateways at the four cardinal points. The second one is 2.4 km. in dia. is an earthen one, the third and the outer most remains somewhat irregular circle 12.5 km in dia. encompasses the whole modern town of Warangal. The inner stone fortification with 45 bastions enclosed an area of 1.3 square km. was caused by Rudramadevi while Pratapa Rudra-II (1289-1313 C.E.) made improvements and embellished the city with palaces, gardens and fountains. In the heart of the fort are the ruins of many secular and religious edifices. By far the most imposing ones are remains of huge temple complex (Svayambhuva) which was indeed a Srivisala type. Four lofty hamsa-toranas (gate ways) stand erect at the four cardinal directions. These torana gateways, unlike the gopura dvaras of the medieval temples, are unique experiments recalling the lofty toranas of the sanchi stupa. The rangamandapa of the temple is seen by uprooted slabs, pillar brackets and gives a sorrowful look. The Svayambhudeva was the family God and Rudramadevi built the ranga and agramandapas commemorating her great victory over the Yadavas of Devagiri. She proudly assumed the title "Raya (Daya) Gajakesari".
The other buildings closely include the Ramalingesvara and Venkatesvara temples. The Khush Mahal known as Shitab Khan Mahal and named after Sitapati, a Hindu chief who was a Governor for some time under Bahamani rule has been raised over the ruins of the Kakatiya palace. The Kakatiya period is one among the brightest periods of Andhra History and Culture, Art and Telugu literature flourished. Tikkana Somayaji who lived in this period authored the last 15 cantos of Andhra Mahabharata besides, Nirvachanottara Ramayana Prataparudra-II's Court poet Vidyanatha wrote an Alamkara Sastra called Prataparudra Yasobhushanam. Noteworthy poets like Srinatha of Kridabhiramam fame and Potana flourished during this age. Palkurki Somanatha’s works like Panditaradhya Charitra and Basavapuranam are classics propounding Vira Saivism. Sakalya Malla wrote Udatta Raghavam and Niroshthya Ramayanam, while Jaya Senapati Commander of Ganapatideva wrote Nritta Ratnavali.
Amongst the sculptures lying in the ruins of the Svyambhudeva temple complex are the pillar brackets on which there are representations of the gajakesari motifs. A lady with the headdress of a warrior as well as a queen holding a dagger and shield seated on a lion, which is seen standing on the trunk of an elephant, is shown fighting. She has been identified with Rudramadevi who was a most courageous and valiant queen of the Kakatiya dynasty.
SHITAB KHAN PALACE, FORT WARANGAL: This Mahal (Palace) is a rectangular building, which measures 16x38x12m. It is said to have been constructed by Shitab Khan, using a few building members of some Hindu temples are seen in this Mahal. The façade of the incomplete building has an arched entrance in the Indo-Sarcenic style. The hall has an arched ceiling inside, joining a number of arches together to form the interior. The last political phase of the history of Warangal is referred to in the lengthy fort inscription of Shitab Khan dated 1504 C.E., at the southern Torana. It is stated here that he belonged to the Bhogi Kula, probably a warrior caste in Telangana and that his Hindu name was ‘Sitapathi.’ His earlier career may have started in the service of the Bahamani subordinates. Further it is recorded that he had occupied a number of formidable forts like Rajadri, and others. When Qutub-Ul-Mulk, the Governor of Telingana from 1498 C.E., third to restore effective control over such forts as Warangal, Rachakonda and Devarakonda, Shitab Khan to set up his standard of independence over the ramparts of Warangal fort sometime before 1504 C.E. He further proclaimed that he had occupied the great city of Warangal only to restore the Hindu Dharma. During his brief occupation of Warangal, Shitab Khan reinstated the images of the temple of Panchalaraya, Adisakti and Svayambhudeva. During his last struggle Shitab Khan appealed to the Gajapathi king Prataparudradeva for help to save his principality. In 1518 C.E., Sri Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar invaded the Gajapati kingdom, in the course of which he advanced towards Simhadri (Simhachalam). Krishna Deva Raya had to face the fiery arches of Shitab Khan. This proved to be Shitab Khan's last battle in which he was vanquished by the Vijayanagar forces.