By: Gollapudu Srinivasa Rao
The very name Ramappa temple brings to mind the intricate carvings and floating bricks – the 800-year-old engineering marvels of Kakatiya regime craftsmanship.
There were times people from far and wide made a beeline to see and believe that bricks here float on water. After a gap of two decades, this ancient temple, located on the sprawling lake named after sculptor Ramappa, has been attracting tourists in hordes.
Ramappa temple is located at Palampet village of Venkatapur mandal which is 65 km from the district headquarters and could be reached by road. The Tourism Department has set up beautiful cottages on the banks of lake amidst lush green forest and a restaurant offering wide variety of dishes.
The temple is known for its elaborate carvings that speak volumes about the dexterity of craftsmen. According to inscriptions, it was said to be built in 1213 AD by Recharla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva. The presiding deity here is Ramalingeswara Swamy.
Local legend has it that a sculptor named Ramappa from Karnataka executed the temple for 40 years and hence it was named after him. This is believed to be unique as nowhere in the world a work is named after sculptor.
Among the amazing carvings include a flute at the entrance of sanctum sanctorum which when hit make the sound sa-ri-ga-ma. The pillars within the temple boast of such a fine carvings that one could pass a strand of hair through. It has 13 such carvings perhaps indicating the 13th century when it was constructed. Local guide G. Vijay explains that inside the roof above one’s head, the sculptors featured epics on eight sides. A complete story of ‘Ksheera sagar madhanam’ was carved on one beam and so also on other beams featuring – Daksha samharam, Daksha yagnam, Tripurasura samharam, Gajasura samharam and Narakasura vadha, Gopika vastrapaharanam.
They used red sand stone for the temple while black granite was used for carving out amorous statues adorning the temple outside connecting roof and walls. The dancing girls in erotic forms bring out the artistic splendour of those days. The columns were arranged in such a fashion that sunlight reflects on the garbhagriha all the time.
This is one the few temples worth visiting in life that humbles the body and soul.
Source: The Hindu