Temple architecture

Ramappa Temple: a 13th-century architectural marvel with floating bricks

Floating Brick Temple: Indian heritage sites exude the aura of the rich history that the subcontinent boasts. The intricate architecture, engineering of centuries-old monuments, and the colorful culture and traditions of each state testify to the fact that India is a cradle of diversity and heritage. If we are talking about the temple in India, well, where to start? There are countless temples stretching across the country and each temple is the keeper of a unique story. One such temple, which has stood the test of time, is the Temple of Ramappa.Read also – Kiraak Hyderabad! Explore 6 Perfect Weekend Getaways From Nizam City

It is located in the village of Palampet in Mulug Taluk, about 67 km from the famous tourist destination Warangal and 160 km from the city of Nizam Hyderabad. It is surrounded by lush, verdant green hedges with scenic views to behold.

What’s so special about Ramappa Temple?

You might ask why did we choose Ramappa among all the most famous temples that shine in the treasures of South India? To begin with, the Ramappa temple was originally called the Rudreshwara temple. Its foundation dates back to 1213 AD and was built during the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty. It is said to be probably the only temple that was named after the sculptor Ramappa. Have you ever heard of such kindness and benevolence?

Carved pillars in the temple of Ramappa (Image credits: Instagram – travelnetra_india)

There are shrines and pillars surrounding the temple that speak of mythological tales of a bygone era. And, if you hit these pillars with stone, you can also hear musical sounds!

Ramappa was a true genius and here’s why:

Iconic Architecture

It is truly an architectural and engineering marvel that India possesses. It took almost 4 decades to end the temple. Elaborating on the temple’s grand scale, former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao quoted in a filing of Ramappa Temple’s nomination as a World Heritage Site by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), “The ornamentation of central pillars and the architrave above them is rich.Subtle and fine like exquisite filigree work in gold or silver.Indeed, in the hands of the carvers, the hard black basalt almost attained the softness of wax and the polish of a clean mirror.

Speaking of architecture ahead of its time, the foundations of the temple were laid using the sandbox technique. The foundation providing a cushion-like base, which is why it is always strong. Red sandstone and black basalt were used to make the main temple while lightweight bricks made the cupola or Gopuram; these were so light that it is said that the the bricks will float on the water instead of sinking! What a genius! There are very niche and intricate carvings made on the basalt which itself is amazing because engraving on basalt is a Herculean task. The architectural brilliance can be seen in the heavily chiseled carvings of the temple. The work is so precise and exquisite that it leaves every visitor amazed and overwhelmed by the spirit behind this progressive construction.

A sheet of its history

Considered one of the best temples in medieval South India, it was built during the reign of King Kakatiya Ganapati Deva under the supervision of Rucherla Rudra, the Commander-in-Chief. Over time it has suffered the ravages of war and invasion, but it still stands in all its glory. The walls of the temple are riddled with beautiful carvings which are an array of the various dance forms and musical instruments of that era. Some scenes from Hindu epics like Ramayana, Shiv Purana and other ancient texts are also represented.

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Mythological stories carved in besalt stone (Image credits: Instagram-gyan.singh.thankur)

Ramalingeswara Swamy, a form of Lord Shiva, is said to be the presiding deity of the temple. It is believed that unlike other Lord Shiva temples, here Nandi is attentive.

Recently, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and after all, it is an incomparable monument. Currently, it is under the administration of the Archaeological Survey of India. There are some quaint but beautiful cottages set up by the tourism department where one can sit and soak up the grandeur of the history they have just visited.