Warangal: The famed Ramappa Temple was inscribed with the World Heritage Site tag on Sunday after a discussion that lasted exactly one hour, 29 minutes at the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee held online from Fuzhou in China.
Revealing this to Telangana Today, M Panduranga Rao, a trustee of Kakatiya Heritage Trust (KHT) and Warangal Convener of INTACH, who, along with other experts and officials witnessed the proceedings online, said: “The UNESCO announced Ramappa Temple as a World Heritage site today but there was a lot of discussion over the temple. The sandbox technology and floating bricks, which are the unique features of the temple, helped get the UNESCO tag for the temple. We are happy with this recognition. While we have been making efforts to get the tag since 2010, I started writing research articles on the sandbox technology way back in 1980.”
The former professor of Civil Engineering in the then Regional Engineering College (REC), now NIT, along with former IAS officer BV Papa Rao, put in a lot of effort along with the State government to get the UNESCO tag. The then Warangal district administration in association with the Kakatiya Heritage Trust and Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) submitted a request to UNESCO seeking recognition of Warangal monuments as World Heritage Sites.
Rao said he headed the project Geo Technology Appraisal and Evaluation of Kakatiya Monuments in the 80s. “The lightweight or floating bricks’ density is 0.9 gms/cc whereas the density of water is 1 gm/cc. Those bricks are lighter than water. Hence, they float on water. The bricks used nowadays measure 2.2 gms/cc in density,” he said, explaining the uniqueness that left the UNSECO officials impressed when they visited the site in 2019.
Ministers hail decision
Expressing happiness over the announcement by UNESCO, Ministers Errabelli Dayakar Rao and Satyavathi Rathod and MLC Pochampally Srinivas Reddy thanked Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for taking the special initiative to get the tag and make the people of Telangana proud of their heritage and history.
“The Chief Minister protected the tanks built during the Kakatiya rule by renovating them under the Mission Kakatiya programme. Now, he has succeeded in getting the UNESCO tag for a Kakatiya temple,” Satyavathi Rathod said in a statement.
Errabelli Dayakar Rao said that it was a matter of pride for all the people of Telangana with Ramappa temple getting recognition as a World Heritage site.
“We got the tag due to the efforts of the Chief Minister. Successive government in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh did not pay proper attention to get the tag. But after the formation of Telangana, the TRS government put in a lot of effort to get the prestigious status. The State government submitted reports prepared by experts several times to the UNSECO. On June 23, I along with Ministers Srinivas Goud, Satyavati Rathod and others went to Delhi, met with then Union Minister of State for Tourism Prahlad Singh and made a strong pitch to the Centre to nominate Ramappa Temple for the UNESCO tag,” he added.
Founder President of Seva Tourism and Cultural Society Dr Kusuma Surya Kiran said the efforts of the TRS government had paid off and thanked the Chief Minister. “The UNSECO tag for the Ramappa Temple will help us attract international tourists on a large scale. It will be a major boost for the tourism industry in Telangana,” Dr Kiran added.
TRS social media convener and a native of Mulugu district Y Satish Reddy also thanked Chandrashekhar Rao for his efforts to get the UNESCO tag.
Meanwhile, the Irrigation Department and the Telangana Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) have plans to develop the Ramappa Lake and surroundings by laying roads, developing a mini-tank bund, rope/zip way and others at a cost of Rs 20 crore. The statues of the sculptor of Rammappa, Recherla Rudra Reddy, and Kakatiya king Prathapa Rudra will also be installed on the tank bund.
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