Former IAS officer BV Papa Rao and former professor M Panduranga Rao recalled that it was a decade-long journey, which commenced in 2009 when they formed the KHT intending to get international recognition for Kakatiya Heritage
Warangal: While inscribing the World Heritage Status to Ramappa temple, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO recommended that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) make changes in the boundary to the temple and include two small temples outside its boundary wall, said Founder-Trustees of Kakatiya Heritage Trust (KHT) BV Papa Rao and M Panduranga Rao. Speaking to the media here on Monday, they said that the committee also recommended that the conservation plan be finalised and a Special Development Authority be created to regulate the development around the Ramappa Temple and Ramappa Tank to maintain the natural beauty and serenity of the area.
Expressing joy over UNESCO’s decision, former IAS officer BV Papa Rao and former professor M Panduranga Rao recalled that it was a decade-long journey, which commenced in 2009 when they formed the KHT intending to get international recognition for Kakatiya Heritage. “Inscription of the Ramappa temple as the World Heritage Site is only a milestone, but not the end of the journey. There is much more to do in the journey ahead to work on several other Kakatiya monuments in the next decade,” the duo asserted.
“The journey began in 2010 when Telangana agitation was at its peak. The then Culture Minister J Geeta Reddy formed a committee with KHT as the coordinator. KHT’s efforts gained momentum with the formation of Telangana. During this time, the Trust was able to put the Kakatiya proposals in the tentative list of World Heritage. We thank her for providing the initial momentum,” the duo said. “With the help of Telangana Government, the Trust had started the Nomination Campaign in 2016. Due to the personal intervention of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, Ramappa entered India’s nomination to UNESCO in 2019,” he said.
The Nomination Dossier was prepared by the Trust with minimal cost of hiring one architect Surya Narayan Murthy, who did a tremendous job. The policy aspects of the dossier were covered by BV Papa Rao with his experience in dealing with UNESCO and technical aspects were undertaken by Prof M Panduranga Rao with his vast knowledge of geotechnical engineering of Kakatiyas. The most crucial time was to defend the nomination in front of about 30 international experts of ICOMOS in Paris in November 2019. A three-member committee comprising BV PapaRao, Prof M Panduranga Rao and G Surya Narayana Murthy did a commendable job to impress ICOMOS.
Though ICOMOS recognised Ramappa Temple’s Universal values, it had identified certain things to be executed by the State of Telangana and ASI before the temple was recognised as the World Heritage site. Some of these recommendations were quickly implemented by the District Collector, Mulugu and the Department of Culture and Tourism, Government of Telangana. Despite ICOMOS recommending the nomination to be deferred till certain works are completed by the ASI and the Government of Telangana, the Indian Ambassador to UNESCO Vishal Sharma turned the tables in about a month, they said.
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