Why in the news?
- Ramappa temple and Dholavira have attained UNESCO World Heritage site tag.
- The IVC acropolis is located on a hillock near present-day Dholavira village in Kutch district, from which it gets its name. It was discovered in 1968 by archaeologist Jagat Pati Joshi.
- The site’s excavation between 1990 and 2005 under the supervision of archaeologist Ravindra Singh Bisht uncovered the ancient city, which was a commercial and manufacturing hub for about 1,500 years before its decline and eventual ruin in 1500 BC.
- After Mohen-jo-Daro, Ganweriwala and Harappa in Pakistan and Rakhigarhi in Haryana of India, Dholavira is the fifth largest metropolis of IVC.
- The site has a fortified citadel, a middle town and a lower town with walls made of sandstone or limestone instead of mud bricks in many other Harappan sites.
- Archaeologist Bisht cites a cascading series of water reservoirs, outer fortification, two multi-purpose grounds – one of which was used for festivities and as a marketplace- nine gates with unique designs, and funerary architecture featuring tumulus – hemispherical structures like the Buddhist Stupas- as some of the unique features of the Dholavira site.
Other Harappan sites in Gujarat
- Before Dholavira was excavated, Lothal, in Saragwala village on the bank of Sabarmati in Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad district, was the most prominent site of IVC in Gujarat.
- It was excavated between 1955 and 1960 and was discovered to be an important port city of the ancient civilisation, with structures made of mud bricks.
- From a graveyard in Lothal, 21 human skeletons were found. Foundries for making copperware were also discovered. Ornaments made of semi-precious stones, gold etc. were also found from the site.
- Besides Lothal, Rangpur on the bank of Bhadar river in Surendranagar district was the first Harappan site in the state to be excavated. Rojdi in Rajkot district, Prabhas near Veraval in Gir Somnath district, Lakhabaval in Jamnagar, and Deshalpar in Bhuj taluka of Kutch are among other Harappan sites in the state.
- Rudreswara Temple also known as Ramappa temple, located at Palampet, Mulugu district, near Warangal in the state of Telangana has made it to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
- The temple complex was built by Racherla Rudra Reddy during the period of the Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva. It was built using sandstone and its construction, which began in 1213 CE, is believed to have continued for over four decades.
- The 13th century temple was named after its architect, Ramappa.
- The decision was taken at the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO.
The 13th century temple , Ramappa Temple
- UNESCO noted that, “The building features decorated beams and pillars of carved granite and dolerite with a distinctive and pyramidal Vimana (horizontally stepped tower) made of lightweight porous bricks, so-called ‘floating bricks’, which reduced the weight of the roof structures.
- The temple’s sculptures of high artistic quality illustrate regional dance customs and Kakatiyan culture.