Ramappa Temple Gets UNESCO Heritage Site Tag

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    Recently, Rudreswara Temple (Ramappa Temple) at Palampet, Warangal, Telangana has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

    • The decision was taken at the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO.

    Ramappa Temple

    • The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is situated in Palampet Village, around 67 km from the city of Warangal (Telangana).
    • Constructed over 800 years ago, in 1213 AD, by Recharla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva
    • The Rudreswara Temple is popularly known as Ramappa temple in honour of the sculptor who worked on the project for 40 years.
    • An engineering marvel, the Ramappa Temple is a manifestation of a distinct style, technology and decoration, standing as a testimonial to the Kakatiyan creative genius. 
      • Kakatiya Dynasty was the South Indian dynasty that ruled Andhra Pradesh in India from 1083 CE to 1323 CE.
    • The temple stands on a 6-feet tall star-shaped platform with walls, pillars and ceilings adorned with intricate carvings that attest to the unique skill of the sculptors.
    • The foundation is built with the “sandbox technique”, the flooring is granite and the pillars are basalt.
      • Sandbox 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 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 travellers were mesmerised by the beauty of the temple and one such traveller had remarked that the temple was the ‘brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan’.

    Image Courtesy: TOI

    World Heritage Sites in India

    • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are the important places of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention
      • The Convention was established in 1972.
      • India accepted the convention on 14 November 1977, making it’s sites eligible for inclusion on the list.
    • The first sites to be inscripted were 
      • Ajanta Caves, 
      • Ellora Caves, 
      • Agra Fort, and 
      • Taj Mahal, 
    • The latest site to be inscribed is Ramappa Temple, Telangana in 2021.
    • As of July 2021, 19 of the 36 States and union territories of India are home to the World Heritage Sites
      • Maharashtra having the highest number of sites (6).
    • Presently, there are 39 World Heritage Sites located in India
      • 31 are cultural, 
      • 7 are natural, and 
      • 1 is mixed (meeting both cultural and natural criteria),
    • India has the sixth largest number of sites in the world.

    Map of World Heritage Sites in India

    (Image Courtesy : maps)

    Benefits of becoming a World Heritage Site

    The following are the most important advantages of being a World Heritage Site:

    • It brings international attention to the need for the preservation and conservation of the site.
    • It brings tourism to the site, with its accompanying economic benefits to the host country and local area.
    • It can provide funds for restoration, preservation, and training. For example, in 2001, the Taliban destroyed two 6th century, 150-ft. statues of Buddha carved into the mountainside in the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan. 
    • It promotes national and local pride in the natural and man-made wonders of the country.
    • It promotes close ties with the United Nations system and the prestige and support it provides.
    • It provides access to global project management resources.
    • It facilitates creating partnerships between government, the private sector, and NGOs to achieve conservation goals.
    • The site is protected under the Geneva Convention against destruction or misuse during wartime.

    Source: PIB