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Rudreshwara temple in Telangana gets World Heritage status

Rudreshwara temple, also called as Ramappa temple after its architect, in Warangal in Telangana has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is decorated as a testimony to the cultural tradition of the Kakatiya dynasty. Its architectural excellence has often been extolled by foreign travellers. Its beams and pillars are carved out of granite and weightless 'floating bricks' are used for the tower. A 1213 inscription says the temple was built by Kakatiya General Recherla Rudra Reddy during Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva's period. The presiding deity of the temple is Ramalingeswara Swamy.

HYDERABAD, July 27: Rudreshwara temple at Palampet in Warangal in the State of Telangana has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also called Ramappa temple after its architect. The temple has a Shivalingam on a star-shaped 6-ft high platform. Ramalingeswara is worshipped here.

The temple has been on the UNESCO's tentative list since 2014. It has now been nominated under the criterion I, which is for a masterpiece of human creative genius. It has also been placed under the criterion III, a testimony to a cultural tradition. The decision was taken at the 44th meeting of the World Heritage Committee recently held in China. India has now 39 world heritage sites. This year this was the only nomination from India.

Three other sites were also nominated by the Committee at the meeting. They are: 1. Quanzhou Emporium 2. Trans-Iranian Railways 3. Paseo del Prado and Buen Reitro, a Spanish landscape of arts and science.

Carved granite and 'floating bricks'

According to an inscription of the year 1213, the temple was built by Kakatiya General Recherla Rudra Reddy, during Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva. It is made of sandstone. "The building features decorated beams and pillars of carved granite," Unesco said. Its tower is made of lightweight porous bricks called 'floating bricks.' It reduces the weight.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed happiness on UNESCO declaring Kakatiya Ramappa temple a World Heritage site. He also urged the people to visit this majestic temple complex and get a first-hand experience of its grandeur.

Reacting to a tweet by UNESCO, the Prime Minister said, "Excellent! Congratulations to everyone, specially the people of Telangana.

"The iconic Ramappa temple showcases the outstanding craftsmanship of the great Kakatiya dynasty. I would urge you all to visit this majestic temple complex and get a first-hand experience of its grandeur."

Union Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy thanked the Prime Minister for his guidance and support as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conferred the World Heritage inscription to Rudreswhara temple (also known as the Ramappa temple) at Palampet, Mulugu district, near Warangal in the State of Telangana.

“It gives me immense pleasure to share that @UNESCO has conferred the World Heritage inscription to Ramappa Temple at Palampet, Warangal, Telangana. On behalf of the nation, particularly from people of Telangana, I express my thanks to Hon'ble PM @narendramodi for his guidance & support,” tweeted G Kishan Reddy.

The following is the description given by the PIB:- "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.The presiding deity here is Ramalingeswara Swamy. It is also known as the Ramappa temple, after the sculptor who executed the work in the temple for 40 years.

Kakatiyan sculpture

"The temple complexes of Kakatiyas have a distinct style, technology and decoration exhibiting the influence of the Kakatiyan sculpture. The Ramappa temple is a manifestation of this and often stands as a testimonial to the Kakatiyan creative genius. 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.

"The sculptural art and decoration specific to the time and Kakatiyan Empire have an outstanding universal value. The distinct style of Kakatiyas for the gateways to temple complexes, unique only to this region confirm the highly evolved proportions of aesthetics in temple and town gateways in South India.

"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'."

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