Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In India, generally temples are named after the deity that is worshipped in the temple. Such a exceptional example of a temple this is, it is named after the master sculptor who carved the extraordinarily beautiful piecesDSC04376 of art.

Ramappa temple is simply a delight at any angle. Even the smallest of the designs is carved very beautifully. Some of the sculptures are so carefully carved, its still showers the same glow as it was 800 years ago.

This temple was built by Racherla Rudra, a general of Ganapati Deva. According to a contemporary record, this temple was built in 1213 A.D. The path to approach the temple is itself is extremely pleasant with tall trees on either side of the road which gives the much needed shade during the afternoons. There is a think sheet of grass on DSC04382the open land on the other side of the tress on either side.

The path that the tourists take now, clearly is not the original entrance of the temple complex as it leads to the side of the temple and the front of the temple is filled with think thorny bushes and is not approachable. One need to bend a little  and pass under a stone boulder to enter the temple complex. On the first glimpse, we see that the wear and tear of 800 years have shown its marks on it. The top of the temple is worn out.

The teDSC04387mple stands on a raised platform with the Garbhagriha, Antarala and the Mahamantapa with lateral porched entrances on three sides. The main entrance faces east. On one side of the temple, we see an inscription in Kannada language which talks about the sculptor Ramappa and the time when this temple was commissioned. Once we see the outer portion of the temple closely, we will realise that this is no ordinary one. On the beam, are idols in black stone of horses and lions. The idols clearly are attached to the main temple, but the expression on the animals is also seen clearly.DSC04393

The floor of the temple is not plain. It has moved up and down due to earthquakes in the past centuries and the result is clearly visible. The walls lean over to one side. The inside of the temple is wonderful with several one of their kind pieces. There is one pillar where the stone is bent as if a metal is bent after being hit by a heavy object and it has deformed.  There are other sculptures of three dancers  whose bodies are connected and have just four legs. Whichever dancer you see, will appear normal with that legs. There are carvings on stone so intricate, that a thin piece of straw passes through them.

The GarbDSC04417hagriha contains a black basalt Linga installed on a high pedestal. Inside over the central ankana, one finds a magnificent display of sculptures depicting scenes from Ramayana, Siva Purana and other mythological narratives. On the  walls at the entrance of the Garbhagriha are sculptures of various dance forms. Some of the sculptures are broken over the years. Once unique piece of art is the round series of sculptures in the long wall panels. It depicts various musical instruments being played.

TheDSC04425 striking peculiarity of the construction lies in the arrangement of bracket figures. Above the Kakshasana level, decorated are slender graceful Madanikas, Naginis etc. in different poses. They are carved on black stone with very minute  carvings and intricate designs. The entire thing will have been sculpted out of a single stone and it would have been extremely difficult making that very thin as this.

Also carved, are numerous elephants and designs all round the temple outer wall. There are also some sections where Jain sculptures are carved on the temple which is a proof that Jainism is prevalent during that age. Once simple example is the Jain temple in Kolanupaka (40 kms from Ramappa Temple) constructed during the same time.

The oDSC04449ther units within the prakara are an imposing Nandi Mandapa, Kameswara and Kateswara shrines. The Kameswara Temple is in total ruins and there is no guarantee how long will the structure be intact. The outer part of the temple is of brick colour which shines in the evening sun. The area which encloses the inner sanctum is carved with extremely beautiful carvings from the outside. The Nandi in this temple is fairly big with extremely beautiful design carved on it.

We spent around 2 hours covering every corner of the temple and by the time we completed it, it was almost sunset. We still had time for our return train to Hyderabad. We went back to Warangal, had a nice dinner. We came back to Hyderabad with nice memories of the very beautiful Warangal  - A Glorious Kingdom that was…


Vandana said...

So you had enjoyed the trip. Reallyyyy gud thought.....sharing ur exp wid us.

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