Rudreswara Temple inscribed as a World Heritage Site
India’s nomination of Rudreswara Temple, (also known as the Ramappa Temple) at Palampet, Mulugu district, near Warangal in the state of Telangana has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This would be the 39th site in India.
The Rudreswara temple was constructed in 1213 AD during the reign of the Kakatiya Empire by Recharla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva.
It is also known as the Ramappa temple, after the sculptor who executed the work in the temple for 40 years.
The main temple is flanked by the collapsed structures of the Kateshwarayya and Kameshwarayya temples in Palampet, about 220 km from Hyderabad.
The foundation is built with the “sandbox technique”, the flooring is granite and the pillars basalt.
An inscription dates the temple to 1135 Samvat-Saka on the eight day of Magha (January 12, 1214).
The temple, known for its exquisite craftsmanship and delicate relief work, is savvy blend of technical know-how and materials of its time.
The temple complexes of Kakatiyas have a distinct style, technology and decoration exhibiting the influence of the Kakatiyan sculptor.
The lower part of the temple is red sandstone while the white gopuram is built with light bricks that reportedly float on water.
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 Kakatiyan sculptors.
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”.
According to the temple priest, some of the iconography on the temple was damaged during the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310.
Treasure hunters vandalized the rest
But the biggest test for the temple was an earthquake in the 17th century (one of the biggest was that of 7.7-8.2-magnitude on June 16, 1819).
What are UNESCO World Heritage Sites
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance, which is legally protected by international treaties.
The sites are judged to be important for the collective and preservative interests of humanity.