WARANGAL: The marvel of Kakatiya era, Ramappa temple in Palampet of Mulugu district, has become the face of Telangana on the global tourism front with the award of world heritage site tag by the Unesco on Sunday.
A festive mood engulfed the erstwhile Warangal district, especially in Palampet village about 65 kilometres from Hanamkonda. Villagers cheered the announcement as the temple received the Unesco recognition.
However, the locals say if not for their combined efforts to protect it, the temple may not have survived today. Former sarpanch and convenor of Ramappa Temple Protection Committee Venkataram Mohan Rao said a tunnel was being dug as part of the Devadula irrigation project in 2010, against the norms of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the contract company proposed to dig the tunnel which passed dangerously close to the temple.
"We issued notices to the company but the then Andhra Pradesh government supported the contractors. Without giving up, we formed the Ramappa temple protection committee with members like MLA Chukka Ramaiah, Prof Jayadheer Tirumal Rao, Prof Panduranga Rao and several others to fight against this and successfully stopped the tunnel. If not for the efforts of these people, the temple would not have stood today," he said.
Prof M Panduranga Rao, who worked extensively for the Ramappa temple to be nominated for the Unesco heritage site through Kakatiya Heritage Trust (KHT), expressed happiness over their hard work finally making Telangana proud.
"We participated in the live interaction with Unesco. It is a great achievement for the Telangana government which successfully projected Ramappa temple into the list of Unesco's world heritage sites. BV Papa Rao from KHT, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and I wrote a letter regarding the temple to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ASI, union minister Kishan Reddy and all worked extraordinarily and helped make this a possibility," he said.
Minister for panchayat raj Errabelli Dayakar Rao, minister for tribal welfare Satyavathi Rathod and Mulugu MLA Seethakka expressed happiness over the temple being recognised as a world heritage site.