Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Ramappa Temple", Palampet, Telangana.


Ancient Temples all over the country are named after one of the several names of the presiding deity and sometimes in conjunction with the name of that place. But Ramappa Temple, situated in Palampet village; 77 Kms. from Warangal town, is an exception. Here Lord Shiva’s; Sri Ramalingeshwara Temple is named after its chief sculptor Ramappa a Vishwakarma Brahmin Stapathi. The name ‘Ramappa Temple’ has been in existence for eight centuries and is a great honour for this artisan and his community. The Vishwakarma Brahmins are a community of five castes, who have adopted engineering, art and architecture professions, they comprise of Goldsmiths, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Sculptors and Metal (Brass) craftsmen. Lord Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of these craftsmen and architects. Vishwakarma is the Son of Brahma, and is the divine craftsman of the whole universe. He is the official builder of all Gods palaces and he is also the designer of all the chariots of the Gods, and their weapons.
Ramappa temple is now in the care and control of Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The ‘Board of introduction’ put up by ASI at the entrance of the Temple and reproduced by me in the above photographs reads as follows: “This is one of the beautiful Temples of Kakatiya period built by Racherla Rudra, a General of Kakatiya Ganapati Deva. According to a contemporary record this Temple was built in 1213 A.D. The Temple stands on a raised platform with the Garbhagriha, an Antarala, and Maha Mandapa with lateral porched entrances on three sides. The main entrance faces east. The Garbhagriha contains a black basalt Shiva Linga installed on a high pedestal. Inside, over the ceiling of the central Ankana one finds a magnificent display of sculptures depicting scenes from Ramayana, Shiva Purana and other mythological narratives. The striking peculiarity of the building lies in the arrangement of bracket figures above the Kakshasana level decorated with slender, graceful Madanikas, Nagins etc., in different poses. The other units within the Prakara are an imposing Nandi Mandapa, Kameswara and Kateswara Shrines”.
This huge and beautiful Temple stands on a six feet high platform. And the height of the Temple might be around fifty feet. The imposing Shiva Lingam inside the Temple is nine feet high. Some bricks used in the construction are said to be so light that they can float on water. As can be seen in the above photographs the Nandi of nine feet height outside the main temple and the pillars and other sculptures / carvings inside the temple are intact. The outer side of the Temple which is exposed to Sun and rain for almost 800 years looks slightly worn out.
Daily Poojas are performed here and Maha Shivarathri is celebrated over three days. Few devotees from nearby places and some tourists visiting the Badra Kali temple and the Thousand pillars temple at Warangal visit the Ramappa temple and the nearby Ramappa Tank.
We are thrilled and happy with our visit to the Ramappa Temple. I wish this ancient and grand Temple is made popular by the State tourism department so that more people may come and see it and feel proud of our history and the caliber of our ancestors in constructing such a marvelous Temple, 796 years ago!

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