India’s 39th World Heritage Site: Ramappa Temple UPSC

The Ramappa Temple of Telangana (Built by Kakatiyas), also known as the Rudreswara Temple, has been selected as the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization world heritage site (UNESCO).

India’s 39th World Heritage Site :

  • India now contains 40 UNESCO World Heritage List monuments and the Indian Archeological Survey (ASI) also guards 23 World Heritage sites. Dholavira is the 40th and latest addition to this list.
  • Constructed in the 13th century by Racherla Senapati Rudrayya, Kakatiya’s General King Ganapatideva.
  • The foundation has been made with the technique of a “sandbox,” the floor is granite and the pillars are basalt.
  • The bottom half of the temple is red sandstone, while the white gopuram is constructed from light bricks floating over water.

About the Temple of Rudreswara (Ramappa)

  • In 1213, during the Kakatiya empire, the temple of Rudreswara was built by the Recherla Rudra, commander of Kakatiya King Ganapati Deva.
  • Ramalingeswara Swamy is the presiding deity.
  • It is also known as the temple of Ramappa following the sculptor who had worked 40 years in the temple.
  • The temple stands on a stern-shaped platform, 6 feet high, with walls, pillars and ceilings decorated with beautiful sculptures, showing the unique ability of Kakatiya’s sculptors.
  • The foundation has been made with the technique of a “sandbox,” the floor is granite and the pillars are basalt.
  • The bottom half of the temple is red sandstone, while the white gopuram is constructed from light bricks floating over water.
  • In the eight days of Magha an inscription dates to 1135 Samvat-Saka (12th January, 1214).
  • The particular Kakatiyas style of the gates of the temple complexes, unique to this region, confirms the evolved aesthetic proportions in the temples and town gates in South India.
  • The magnificence of the temple hid European traders and tourists and one such traveller observed that the temple was “the brightest star of the Deccan mediaeval constellation.’

Kakatiyas cultural and religious conditions

  • Kakatiyas began his political career in Southern India when Jainism under Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas was under royal patronage.
  • The early Kakatiya members had been assumed to be Digambara Sect Jains and erected Hanmakonda’s famous Padmakshi Temple (Telangana).
  • Later during the Kakatiyan period Shivism gained popularity.
  • The Veerashivism created by Basaveswara entered Andhradesa in the Telugu-speaking region during the Kakatiya era.
  • The Veerashivism teachers were known as Jangams; their religious scriptures were called Agams, and their adherents were known as Lingayat.
Kingdom of Kakatiya Art and Architecture
  • The rulers of Kakatiya built numerous temples of Jain, Shiva and Vaishnava.
  • They followed the architecture of their former rulers in building temples (West Halukias).
  • The Chalukyas heritage was made up of smooth pillars embellished with pointed roofs, Torana sculptures and statues of the women dancing.
  • The Thousand Pillared Temple at Hanmakonda is a good example of Kakatiyan architecture erected during this period.
  • The Ramappa Temple is another example of architectural achievement. The Temple of Ramappa symbolises the culmination of the Kakati style.
  • Kakatiya’s monarchs also sponsored music, dance, painting and other types of art.
  • ‘Nritya Ratnavali’ was written by Jayapa Senani, General Army of Ganapati Deva.
  • Thousand Temple of the Pillar
  • The Temple of the Thousand Pillar or Rudreswara Swamy situated in Hanmakonda. It was constructed by Kakatiya Rudradeva dynasty.
  • The temple is for Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. It is a triple shrined trikutalaya with 3 sanctum santorum.
  • This temple was created to encourage harmony between Hindus.
  • The technique of sandboxing has been used to strengthen the foundations.
  • The pillars of Mukha mandapa, Shivalinga and Nandi doors are decorated in beautiful fashion and are highly polished.
What is the technique of sandboxing?
  • The procedure includes filling the box – dug for laying the foundations — with a blend of sand lime, jaggery (for tying) and karakkaya (black myrobalan) before building on these ‘sand boxes.’
  • The sandbox in the base functions as a buffer for earthquakes.
Committee on World Heritage:
  • Once a year, the World Heritage Committee is composed of 21 States Parties to the Convention elected for terms up to six years.
  • The Committee is responsible for the execution of the Convention on the World Heritage, administer funding from the World Heritage Fund and has the ultimate word on whether a site is listed as a World Heritage Site.
  • It reviews the status reports on the conservation of registered sites and decides on the registration or removal of sites from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
How is a site of world  heritage protected?
  • The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) aims to promote the identification and protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage worldwide which is deemed to be of great worth to humanity.
  • This is reflected in an international agreement called the 1972 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Process of appointment:

  • In a document called the Tentative List, a country must first list its important cultural and nature sites.
  • Next, it can place selected sites in the appointment file which is assessed by the International Monuments and Sites Council and the World Conservation Union.
  • A country cannot nominate sites not included in its Tentative List first.
  • These bodies will subsequently make their recommendations to the Committee on World Heritage.

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