Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Ramappa Temple

Place : Warangal, Andhra Pradesh
Significance : Remarkable Kakatiya art.
Best Time to Visit : March - April
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Located at a distance of about 77 km from Warangal (the ancient capital of the Kakatiya dynasty), the small town of Palampet in Andhra Pradesh has made a place for itself among the pilgrim destinations in Andhra Pradesh. This is primarily because of the temples that are to be found here. These temples are fine examples of remarkable Kakatiya art.

The Ramappa Temple in Palampet is particularly mention worthy. It is located 157 km from Hyderabad. One of the achievements of the Deccan builder, the temple stands near a great lake of 175 sq.km.

There is an inscription set up in the courtyard of the temple states that Recarla Rudra, a general of the Katiyars built Warangal and made a lake nearby. He also erected a fine temple and installed an image of Rudreshwara in 1213.

There are seven smaller shrines around the main one. The latter which stands on a high platform. Around it, on the platform, there is a space for the people to walk around. Above it, depending from the pillars are celebrated figure brackets depicting women in various postures.

The temple wall has plasteres crowned with Dravida and Nagara sikharas and a minature of the vimana of the this temple itself. The temple's ceiling is magnificient art work. Divided by columns into compartments, each is superbly carved with floral and geometrical patterns.

The temple shrine has a ruined Nandi mandapa. Apart from the seven temples here, there are other temples in Palamet situated within a km. All built by the Kakatiyas. Two of them stand at either end of the bund of the Ramappa Lake. Kakatiyas greatest achievement is the Thousand Pillared Temple though its pillars do not number that many. It has a triple shrine, a narrow platform in the middle and then the mandapa of the columns. At the entrance is an inscription, dated 1163 on a pillar which states that King Rudra set up images of Rudreshwara, Vasudeva and Surya in the city. This is identified with the Thousand Pillared Temple. The temple was erected in gratitude for the great victory he had won in battle.

Infront of the three shrines there is a common hall. The shrines are alike on plan. Their outer walls has many pilasters and bas reliefs. The four pillars in the hall are richly carved.

Beyond a big Nandi, and connected with the shrines by a low platform is the Thosuand Pillared Mandapa, which has given its name to the temple. The greater part of its roof has disappeared now. There are three porches. The pillars number nearly 300.

The road leading from Hanamakonda to Palampet there are two other Kakatiya temples, in Katakchpur and Jakaram. Beyond Palampet, 13 km away, in Ghatapur, there is a temple resembling the Palampet one. It is surrounded by nineteen smaller shrines and two mandapas. All are in ruins.