General Studies IART AND CULTUREMedieval India

Kakatiya Rudreshwara- Ramappa Temple


India gets its 39th World Heritage Site

About Ramappa Temple

  • Ramappa Temple, also known as the Rudreshswara (Lord Siva) temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the state of Telangana.
  • It lies in a valley in Palampet village of Venkatapur Mandal of Mulugu district, a tiny village long past its days of glory in the 13th and 14th centuries.
  • An inscription in the temple dates it to the year 1213 CE and says it was built by a Kakatiya General Recharla Rudra Deva, during the period of the Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva
  • This temple was constructed by Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva’s general Recharla Rudra.
  • Ramalingeswara Swamy is the presiding deity of this temple.
  • Marco Polo, during his visit to the Kakatiya Empire, allegedly called the temple “the brightest star in the galaxy of temples”.

Location: Mulugu, (Near Warangal) Telangana



  • Ramappa Temple stands majestically on a 6 ft 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, and is perhaps the only temple in India to be named after a craftsman who built it.
  • 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. 
  • The lower part of the temple is red sandstone while the white gopuram is built with light bricks that reportedly float on water.
  • 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”.
  • The Kakatiya temples, dedicated mostly to Siva, reveal in their construction a happy blending of the styles of North India and South India which influenced the political life of the Deccan.
  • They adopted both the North Indian Nagara Bhumija style and the South Indian Dravida style.
  • The most important of these temples are those at Palampet (Ramappa temple), Hanamkonda (Thousand Pillared temple) and the temples in the Warangal fort including the big ruined temple complex — Swayambhunadha temple.


Kakatiya Dynasty:

  • The Kakatiya dynasty was a South Indian dynasty that ruled most of eastern Deccan region comprising present day Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and parts of eastern Karnataka and southern Odisha between 12th and 14th centuries.
  • Their capital was Orugallu, now known as Warangal
  • Early Kakatiya rulers served as feudatories to Rashtrakutas and Western Chalukyas for more than two centuries. 
  • They assumed sovereignty under Prataparudra I in 1163 CE by suppressing other Chalukya subordinates in the Telangana region.
  • Ganapati Deva (1199–1262) significantly expanded Kakatiya lands during the 1230s and brought under Kakatiya control the Telugu-speaking lowland delta areas around the Godavari and Krishna rivers. 
  • Ganapati Deva was succeeded by Rudrama Devi (1262–1289) and is one of the few queens in Indian history. 
  • Marco Polo, who visited India in 1289–1293, made note of Rudrama Devi’s rule and nature in flattering terms. 
  • She successfully repelled the attacks of Yadavas (Seuna) of Devagiri into the Kakatiyan territory.
  • In 1303, Alauddin Khilji, the emperor of the Delhi Sultanate invaded the Kakatiya territory which ended up as a disaster for the Turks.
  • Another attack by Ulugh Khan in 1323 saw stiff resistance by the Kakatiya army, but they were finally defeated.
  • The Kakatiya era also saw the development of a distinct style of architecture and notable examples are the Thousand Pillar Temple in Hanamkonda, Ramappa Temple in Palampet, Warangal Fort, and Kota Gullu in Ghanpur.
  • Much of the information about the Kakatiya period comes from inscriptions, including around 1,000 stone inscriptions, and 12 copper-plate inscriptions.
  • A 1978 book written by P.V.P. Sastry on the history of the Kakatiyas, published by the Government of Andhra Pradesh also constitutes one of the sources.

Sandbox Technique:

  • The technique involved filling the pit — dug up for laying the foundation — with a mixture of sand-lime, jaggery (for binding) and karakkaya (black myrobalan fruit) before the buildings were constructed on these ‘sandboxes’.
  • The sandbox in the foundation acts as a cushion in case of earthquakes.
  • Most of the vibrations caused by earthquakes lose their strength while passing through the sand by the time they reach the actual foundation of the building.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms etc. UNESCO implements its activities through the five programme areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. It designates projects and places of cultural and scientific significance, such as: Global Geoparks Network Biosphere reserves (Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), since 1971) City of Literature Endangered languages and linguistic diversity projects Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity Memory of the World International Register, since 1997 Water resources management (International Hydrological Programme (IHP), since 1965) World Heritage sites, World Digital Library

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    

Source: PIB

Also read : Art and Culture

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