Ramappa Temple Of Warangal: India's Stone Wonder Whose Nomination To UNESCO's List Of World Heritage Sites Stands Deferred

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Rudreswara (Ramappa) Temple that stands tall for the last eight centuries was hailed by Marco Polo as the "brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan".

Reportedly its nomination has been deferred from UNESCO's list of world heritage sites.

Had its listing not been deferred, this piece of historical poetry in stone stood a chance to be the first temple in Telangana to make it to UNESCO's list of world heritage sites. But the Ramappa temple's nomination has been deferred, as reported by The Hindu.

As UNESCO's site mentions, the temple was one among three serial sites originally proposed for nomination in 2014. Submitted by the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO on 15 April 2014, the sites classified jointly as 'The Glorious Kakatiya Temples and Gateways' included:

1. Remnants of Swayambhu Temple and Keerthi Thoranas, Warangal fort

2. Rudreswara Temple (Thousand pillars temple), Hanumakonda

3. Rudreswara (Ramappa) Temple, Palampet

As stated in the submission, the group of temples and temple complex related structures in Warangal signify a distinct architectural pattern, style and technology of the period and representative of the distinct regional style. The Ramappa temple especially is said to stand as testimony to local innovation in temple building tradition.

Of these sites, only the third was finally submitted for nomination as the Kakatiya Heritage Trust, which did the groundwork for the Ramappa Temple nomination, saw that 'creating a 100-metre prohibited zone is not possible in the other sites'.

A sight to behold, this temple which has been hailed by the Venetian merchant and writer Marco Polo as the "brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan", is located around 65 km away from Warangal.

Described as 'a repository of Kakatiyan creative genius', the temple stands on a 6 ft high star-shaped platform with walls, pillars and ceilings adorned with intricate carvings that leave one besotted with the unique skill of the Kakatiyan sculptors.

Said to be the only temple named after the sculptor Ramappa, the shrine dedicated to Ramalingeshwara was commissioned by the Kakati King Ganapathi Deva's chief commander General Recherla Rudra Reddy/Rudra Samani in Atukuru province in 1213.

Dancers in stone at the Ramappa temple
Dancers in stone at the Ramappa temple

The temple's sculptors captured dance moves in stone with such precision and grace that this structure is said to have inspired the famous work of Jayapa Senani titled 'Nritya Ratnavali'. Built with 'bricks light enough to float on water', the structure has withstood the test of time, braving many natural calamities, wars and invasions.

With the structure in red sandstone, the exquisite dancing sculptors chiselled in black granite, the temple that stands tall for the last eight centuries is truly a sight to behold.

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