Warangal’s 800-Year Old Kakatiya Era Temple Included In UNESCO World Heritage Site Nomination

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India is well known for innumerable heritage sites and architectures. And many of them are a part of the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage. The latest possible addition can be the Ramappa Temple in Warangal. The Kakatiya era temple is now a part of the nomination list for the UNESCO World Heritage site selection for 2019. Importantly, the Ramappa Temple is the only entry from India for the selection process this year.

History Of Kakatiya Era Temple

The Ramappa Temple is located in Palmapet, Mulugu district. Also known as the Ramalingeshwara Temple, it was built in 1213 AD by General Recherla Rudra during the reign of Ganapati Deva, a Kakatiya ruler. It is the only temple that has been named after its sculptor, Ramappa. The temple was built in 40 years and even today its 800-year old engineering amazes the tourists. The Kakatiya era temple is indeed a marvel for multiple reasons.

The Kakatiya Heritage Trust (KHT) has been pushing the temple for the World Heritage tag since 2012. One of the trustees of KHT and a retired IAS officer had started the dossier preparation for the World Heritage Site tag even before the formation of Telangana. In 2018, Jaipur city was selected by the Centre. But finally, this year the temple is the only nomination from India.  

Old Kakatiya Era Temple

Special Features Of Ramappa Temple

The universal values of the temple structure make it special and possibly will make it a World Heritage site in a coming couple of years. Even though the temple was constructed almost eight centuries ago, the engineering technology employed at that time made the temple stand tall despite the onslaught of surrounding conditions on it.

According to one of the trustees of the Kakatiya era temple, Professor Pandurang Rao, “We expect the UNESCO teams to visit the temple in the coming months and ascertain its universal values that can put the Ramappa temple under the World Heritage sites. There are four major factors that make the temple truly one of its kind. The first is the floating bricks of the temple.”

Old Kakatiya Era Temple

The bricks used for building the garbhalayam or the roof of the temple are so light that they can easily float on water. The temple has been built on sandbox technology due to which it is resistant to most of the natural calamities including earthquake. Professor Rao said, “Depending on the size and area of the construction, the earth was dug three meters deep for the foundation. It was then filled with sand and for the sand mixture to become strong, it was mixed with granite, jaggery, and Karakkaya (Chebula).”

Intricate Carvings And Singing Flute 

The intricate carvings on the Ramappa temple including a flute exactly at the sanctum sanctorum entrance is a major attraction. The flute makes the sound of sa-re-ga-ma when it is hit. The artists who built the Kakatiya era temple used dolomite rocks for carvings which are so intricate that you can pass even a hair through them. In total, the temple has 13 significant carvings which also indicate that it was built in the 13th century.

Both the state government as well as the KHT are hopeful that the Kakatiya era temple will this time make it to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

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