In news- Telangana’s Kakatiya Rudreswara Temple (also known as the Ramalingeshwara or Ramappa Temple) has been given a world heritage site tag by UNESCO. The decision was taken at the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, held in Fuzhou, China.
- The temple is located in Palmapet in Mulugu.
- The 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.
- It is the only temple that has been named after its 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 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.
- One of the European travelers had remarked that the temple was the “brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan“.
- It was proposed by the Indian government as its only nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage site tag for the year 2019.
- Now the temple has become the 39th site in India to gain the prestigious tag.
- While Norway opposed the inscription being given to the Ramappa temple, Russia and many other countries backed India for the heritage tag.
About 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.