WARANGAL: Founder-trustees of Kakatiya Heritage Trust (KHT), retired IAS officer B.V. Papa Rao and Prof. M. Pandu Ranga Rao, who were instrumental in preparing and moving the dossier of the Ramappa temple to be nominated for the world heritage site tag, are overjoyed with the declaration of the temple as the world heritage site.
They recalled the decade-long journey which commenced in 2009 when they formed the trust with the clear aim of getting international recognition for Kakatiya heritage. The nomination dossier was prepared by the trust with minimal cost of hiring architect Surya Narayan Murthy. The policy aspects were covered by Papa Rao and technical aspects were undertaken by Prof Pandu Ranga Rao with his vast knowledge of geotechnical engineering of Kakatiyas.
Papa Rao recalls, "It was after the formation of Telangana state, KHT's work to promote Kakatiya heritage gained new momentum. With the help of the Telangana government, the trust started the nomination campaign in 2016. But only with the personal intervention of Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao by taking up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ramappa could become India's nomination to Unesco in 2019. This is not the end of the road for us. The KHT is going to work further towards the development of Kakatiya temples."
Prof Pandu Ranga Rao said the challenge of preparing an effective dossier could not have been completed without the active help of the directorate of heritage, Telangana, and the directorate of the world heritage division of ASI.
"The most crucial time was to defend the nomination in front of about 30 international experts of ICOMOS in Paris in November 2019. Though ICOMOS recognised Ramappa temple's universal values, it had identified certain things to be done by the Telangana government and the ASI before the temple was recognised as a world heritage site. The district administration immediately implemented these recommendations. Indian ambassador to Unesco Vishal Sharma along with ministers Meenakshi Lekhi and Kishan Reddy mounted a diplomatic campaign to convince almost all 21 members of the world heritage committee," he said.
While inscribing the world heritage status to Ramappa temple, the world heritage committee of Unesco recommended that ASI should make boundary changes to the temple and include two small temples outside its boundary walls. It also recommended that the conservation plan be finalised and a special development authority be created to regulate the development around the Ramappa temple and tank to maintain the natural beauty and serenity of the area....