Telangana’s Ramappa temple inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) has inscribed the Ramappa Temple as a UNESCO ‘World Heritage Site’.

About Ramappa Temple:
  • Ramappa (Rudreswara) Temple is also known as the Ramalingeswara (Lord Siva) temple.
  • Location: The temple is located in the Palampet village of Venkatapur Mandal in Telangana’s Mulugu (old Warangal) district.
  • Built by: The temple was constructed in 1213 AD during the reign of the Kakatiya Empire by Recherla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva.
  • Presiding Deity: The presiding deity of the temple is Ramalingeswara Swamy. The temple is known as the Ramappa temple after the sculptor who executed the work in the temple for 40 years.
Key Features of the Ramappa Temple:
  • The temple is a masterpiece of Kakatiya-era architecture. The temple stands on a 6 feet high star-shaped platform with walls, pillars, and ceilings adorned with intricate carvings that attest to the unique skill of the Kakatiya sculptors.
  • The foundation of the temple is built with the “sandbox technique”. The flooring of the temple is granite and the pillars are of basalt.
    • Sandbox technique involved filling the pit — dug up for laying the foundation — with a mixture of sand-lime, jaggery (for binding), and karakkaya (black myrobalan fruit) before the buildings were constructed on these ‘sandboxes’.This technique acts as a cushion in case of earthquakes.
  • The lower part of the temple is built with red sandstone, while the white gopuram is built with light bricks that reportedly float on water.
  • Moreover, the main temple is flanked by the collapsed structures of Kateshwarayya and Kameshwaraya temples in Palampet about 220 km from Hyderabad.
  • Further, the European merchants and travelers were mesmerized by the beauty of the temple, and one such traveler had remarked that the temple was the “brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan”.
Terms to Know:

About International Council on Monuments and Sites(ICOMOS):

  • ICOMOS is a non-governmental international organisation associated with UNESCO. It was founded in 1965 in Warsaw as a result of the Venice Charter of 1964.
  • Its mission is to promote the conservation, protection, use, and enhancement of monuments, building complexes, and sites.
  • ICOMOS is also an Advisory Body of the World Heritage Committee for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO.
  • Partner Organization: ICOMOS is a partner and founding member of the Blue Shield, which works to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disasters.
  • Headquarters: Paris, France.
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