Story Explained: Telangana’s Ramappa temple & Gujarat's Dholavira

By Avinash Kumar|Updated : July 28th, 2021

Telangana’s Ramappa temple & Gujarat's Dholavira: The Ramappa temple, a 13th-century temple named for its architect, Ramappa, was recommended by the government as the country's sole candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage site list in 2019. Dholavira is regarded as one of the five major Harappan sites and most significant archaeological sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation in India.

After the Telangana temple, Gujarat's Dholavira was inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List. In this article, we will simplify explain the story of both sites in detail. But let us first look at what is a heritage site is and what are the criteria to decide whether a site is a heritage or not.

What is the World Heritage Site Tag?

World Heritage Sites are cultural and/or natural sites that the World Heritage Committee has designated as having "Outstanding Universal Value" and have been placed on the World Heritage List. These locations or structures are believed to be of great significance to everyone.

The sites have been given the designation because they are culturally, historically, scientifically, or otherwise significant, according to the international authority.  They are determined to have 'cultural and natural heritage from throughout the world that is of exceptional significance to humanity.'


What is the selection criteria?

Sites must fulfil at least one of the 10 selection criteria to be considered.
  1. To depict a work of art created by a human being.

  2. To display a significant exchange of human values on advancements in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning, or landscape design across time or within a cultural area of the world.

  3. To bear a one-of-a-kind or at least extraordinary witness to a current or extinct culture's cultural tradition or civilisation.

  4. To be an exceptional example of a certain sort of structure, architectural or technical ensemble, or landscape that depicts (a) key stage(s) in human history.

  5. To be a shining example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use that represents a culture (or cultures), or human connection with the environment, particularly when it has become fragile due to irreversible change. 

  6. To be linked directly or physically to events or live traditions, ideas or beliefs, and exceptional universally significant creative and literary works.

  7. to contain extraordinary natural occurrences or regions of outstanding natural beauty and artistic value

  8. should be excellent examples of important phases in the evolution of landforms, such as the record of life, significant ongoing geological processes in the creation of landforms, or notable geomorphic or physiographic characteristics.

  9. To be exceptional instances of important continuing ecological and biological processes in the growth and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems and plant and animal communities

  10. To contain the most essential and significant natural habitats for in-situ biological diversity conservation, particularly those harbouring endangered species of great universal importance from a scientific or conservation standpoint.

Telangana's Ramappa Temple

Ramappa Temple, is UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Palampet, Mulugu district, near Warangal, Telangana. The decision was made at UNESCO's World Heritage Committee's 44th session, which was held in China on Sunday. The temple lies near Palampet, a hamlet some 200 kilometres north of Telangana's capital, Hyderabad. During the reign of Kakatiya monarch Ganapati Deva, Racherla Rudra Reddy constructed the temple complex. It was constructed of sandstone and is said to have taken over four decades to complete, beginning in 1213 CE.


According to UNESCO, “the building comprises ornamental beams and pillars of carved granite and dolerite, as well as a distinctive and pyramidal Vimana (horizontally stepped tower) made of lightweight porous bricks, so-called 'floating bricks,' which lowered the weight of the roof structures.” The shrine is adorned with sculptures of exceptional artistic quality.

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Gujarat's Dholavira

Dholavira's Harappan City is one of the few well-preserved towns in the South Asian region, dating back to the third to mid-second millennia BEC. It is the sixth biggest site unearthed so far in over 1,000 Harappans. On Tuesday, UNESCO announced that Dholavira, a Harappan city in modern-day Gujarat, had been inscribed as a world-historic site. According to UNESCO, the ancient city of Dholavira, which dates from the third to mid-second millennium BCE, is one of the most outstanding and well-preserved urban settlements in South Asia (Before Common Era). It is one of the five biggest Harappan sites in India, as well as one of the most renowned Indus Valley Civilisation archaeological sites. The site, discovered in 1968, is notable for its distinctive features, including its water management system, multi-layered defensive systems, significant use of stone in buildings, and unusual burial structures.


How were the ruins of the Harappan civilization discovered in Dholavira?

This island is close to the town of 'Surkhav.' Dholavira settlement is located on the 'Khadir Island's northwestern edge. The skeletons discovered during the Dholavira excavation were dispersed between the drains known as 'Manhar' and 'Mansar.' Dholavira, a Harappan civilization city, was laid out in the shape of a parallelogram. From east to west, this metropolis stretches for miles. Around the city, evidence of the construction of a robust wall has been discovered. The remnants of a broad entire and vast flat plain have been discovered in the Mahaprasad area of the city. The city's centre section, known as 'Pur,' is located to the north. The third and most important portion of it is located to the east of it.

How many of these places are there in India?

 Among the 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, there are 30 cultural sites, 7 natural sites, and 1 mixed site.

Some of the heritage sites in India include Agra Fort, Ajanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara, Fatehpur Sikri, Great Living Chola Temples, Churches and Convents of Goa, Jaipur City, Sundarbans National Park, and Humayun's Tomb.


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