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Shiva Temples of India Temples & Temple Architecture Temples of Telangana

Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple, Telangana

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Rudreshwara, popularly known as Ramappa Temple, is located in the village of Palampet approximately 200km north-east of Hyderabad, in the State of Telangana.

It is the main Shiva temple in a walled complex built during the Kakatiyan period (1123–1323 CE) under rulers Rudradeva and Recharla Rudra.

Construction of the sandstone temple began in 1213 CE and is believed to have continued over some 40 years.

The building features decorated beams and pillars of carved granite and dolerite with a distinctive and pyramidal Vimana (horizontally stepped tower) made of lightweight porous bricks, so-called ‘floating bricks’, which reduced the weight of the roof structures.

The temple’s sculptures of high artistic quality illustrate regional dance customs and Kakatiyan culture.

Located at the foothills of a forested area and amidst agricultural fields, close to the shores of the Ramappa Cheruvu, a Kakatiya-built water reservoir, the choice of setting for the edifice followed the ideology and practice sanctioned in Dharmic texts that temples are to be constructed to form an integral part of a natural setting, including hills, forests, springs, streams, lakes, catchment areas, and agricultural lands.

Ramappa Temple, also known as the Rudreshwara temple, is a Kakatiya style Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva, located in Telangana, India. It is 15 km from Mulugu, 66 km from Warangal, 209 km from Hyderabad.

An inscription in the temple says it was constructed in the year 1213 CE by Recharla Rudra alias Recharla Rudri Reddi- a General of Kakatiya ruler  Ganapati Deva 1199–1262.

Located in the vicinity of Ramappa Lake, the Ramappa Temple complex which consist of three temples was constructed between 1212 and 1234, designed and architect by Ramappa – after whom the temple complex is named.

Marco Polo, during his visit to the Kakatiya empire, supposedly called the temple “the brightest star in the galaxy of temples”. 

Ramappa Temple stands majestically on a 6-foot (1.8 m) high star-shaped platform. The hall in front of the sanctum has numerous carved pillars that have been positioned to create an effect that combines light and space wonderfully.

The temple is named after the sculptor Ramappa, who built it, making it the only temple in India to be named after its craftsman.

The main structure is in a reddish sandstone, but the columns round the outside have large brackets of black basalt which is rich in iron, magnesium and silica.

These are carved as mythical animals or female dancers or musicians, and are “the masterpieces of Kakatiya art, notable for their delicate carving, sensuous postures and elongated bodies and heads”. 

On 25 July 2021, the temple was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana”.

Description

The roof (Garbhalayam) of the temple is built with bricks, which are so light that they are able to float on water.

There are two small Shiva shrines on either side of the main temple. The enormous Nandi within, facing the shrine of Shiva, remains in good condition.

Nataraja Ramakrishna revived Perini Sivatandavam (Perini Dance), by seeing the sculptures in this temple. The dance poses, written in Nritta Rathnavalid by Jayapa Senaani, also appear in these sculptures.

The temple remained intact even after repeated wars, plunder and destruction during wars and natural disasters. There was a major earthquake during the 17th century which caused some damage. It survived the earthquake due to its ‘sandbox technique’ of laying foundation.

Many of the smaller structures were neglected and are in ruins. The  Archaeological Survey of India has taken charge of it. The main entrance gate in the outer wall of the temple is ruined.

Location

Ramappa temple is located in Palampet, Venkatapur mandal which is 19 km from Mulugu mandal (around 70 km off Warangal city). It is located 6 km away from Kota Gullu where another Shiva temple is located.


Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Though academically trained in modern Western Sciences, Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar is a crazy maniac of India's ageless, timeless ethnic arts, crafts & textiles. The rich & glorious cultural & spiritual heritage of India is a subject extremely dear to her heart, and the whole of this Blog has been dedicated to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide, to every nook & corner of the globe, through these simple Blog-posts. Any constructive criticisms & suggestions in this regard for improvement of the Blog 'MOST WELCOME'. Also, High-Quality Guest Blog-posts 'MOST WELCOME". LinkedIn Profile : https://in.linkedin.com/in/mala-chandrashekhar-04095917a

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