- It is 39th world heritage site
- While Norway opposed it, 17 countries led by Russia supported
Ramappa temple near Warangal in Telangana State has been inscribed as a world heritage site. The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC) has reached consensus with the backing of 17 countries. In a zoom meeting of the heritage committee in Fuzhou, China, a decision was taken after reaching a consensus. While Norway opposed the inscription on some technical grounds, Russia led the countries which voted for immediate inscription. Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Hungary, Ethiopia and some other countries have supported India. The final decision was taken on Sunday at 4.36 pm (IST). It was the 44th session of the WHC. Ramappa temple has thus become the 39th world heritage site.
The nomination of Ramappa temple and other Kakatiya temples was made in 2014. The inscription should have been given in 2020 itself but the meeting of the WHC has been delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic. It was built by Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva’s general Racherla Senapati Rudrayya in 13th century. The temple is situated at Palampet 77 km from Warangal and 220 km from Hyderabad.
The temple is famous for its craftsmanship and the beautiful sculptures carved by the sculptors eight hundred years ago. The foundation of the temple was laid in sandbox technique with granite flooring and pillars of black basalt while the walls were built with reddish sandstone. Bricks which were so lightweight that they could float on water were used to build the temple. They were made of saw-dust. The construction was completed on 12 January 1214. The foundation was laid forty years earlier. The intricate carvings that are there on the walls and the wonderful domes are the hallmark of the famous Kakatiya sculpture. The carvings of mythical animals and dancing dames were part of great Kakatiya art tradition. A large Nandi (bull) is there in front of the main temple.
The presiding deity is Ramalingeswara Swamy, another name for Lord Shiva. The temple was named after the chief sculptor Ramappa, probably the only temple in the world to be named after the sculptor. The temple survived a major earthquake in the 17 century. Marco Polo who visited this temple called it the brightest star among the galaxy of temples. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has the pictures of Kakatiya temples under the caption “The Glorious Kakatiya Temples and Gateways.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the State on achieving the distinction.