Palampet near Warangal
in Deccan is home to brilliant Kakatiya art as seen in the Ramappa
temple, that is near the ancient engineering marvel that is the 13th century Ramappa
tank. Palampet is located at a distance of 77 km from Warangal,
the ancient capital of the Kakatiyas. In Warangal, is the Kakatiya
achievement of the 1000 pillared Hanumakonda
An inscription in the temple dates it to the year
1213, during the period of the Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva. This
inscription mentions three shrines to Rudreswara, Kateswara and
Kameswara, of which the latter two are in ruins.
The Ramappa temple stands on a 6 feet
high platform on a cruciform plan. The sanctum is crowned with a shikhara and is
surrounded by a pradakshinapatha. There are many subshrines within the temple. The entire
temple complex is enclosed in a compound wall.
At the entrance to the temple is a ruined Nandi
mandapam, with an imposing 9 feet high Nandi still intact. The Shivalingam
in the sanctum also rises to a height of 9 feet.
The temple itself is a work of art. The east facing
sanctum is surrounded with pilasters crowned with Dravidian and Nagara
shikharas in an alternating fashion. There is an additional entrance from
the north also leading to the Navaranga mandapa in front of the sanctum. The ceiling is
divided into compartments by columns from the bottom, and is carved with intricate
There is a profusion of carvings in this temple on
dark rock with a smooth finish, portraying an amazing range of themes from the puranas and
Maha Shivaratri is celebrated for a
three day period in this temple.
The ancient Ramappa tank dating back
to the period of Kakatiyas is a well conceived one where an earthen dam, about 2000 feet
long connects a semi cicrular chain of hills to form a lake.