From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ramappa Temple, UNESCO Heritage sites
Mains level : Ancient temple architecture
The Union Minister for Culture, Tourism has unveiled the UNESCO World Heritage Listing plaque at Ramappa – Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple in Palampet.
- 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.
- An inscription dates the temple to 1135 Samvat-Saka on the eighth day of Magha (January 12, 1214).
- It is India’s 39th UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Total 40 in number after Dholavira).
- The temple complexes of Kakatiyas have a distinct style, technology, and decoration exhibiting the influence of the Kakatiyan sculptor.
- 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 foundation is built with the “sandbox technique”, the flooring is granite, and the pillars are basalt.
- The lower part of the temple is red sandstone while the white gopuram is built with light bricks that reportedly float on water.
- 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”.
Surviving through ages
- 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).
Answer this PYQ in the comment box:
Q.Which one of the following was a very important seaport in the Kakatiya kingdom? (CSP 2017)
(c) Machilipatnam (Masulipatnam)
Post your answers here.
Back2Basics: 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.
- To be selected, a WHS must be an already-classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance (such as an ancient ruin or historical structure, building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, mountain, or wilderness area).
- It may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet.
- The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence.
- The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 “states parties” that are elected by their General Assembly.
UNESCO World Heritage Committee
- The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.
- It monitors the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund, and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
- It is composed of 21 states parties that are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a four-year term.
- India is NOT a member of this Committee.