Telangana: Ramappa dossier fails Unesco grandeur test | | Live Newspaper Hyderabad

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HYDERABAD: Political and diplomatic efforts seem to have fetched the Unesco World Heritage Site tag for the historic Ramappa temple in Telangana. The dossier prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Department of Heritage Telangana (DHT) and the Kakatiya Heritage Trust (KHT), however, failed to convince the Unesco experts on the uniqueness and grandeur of the 13th century temple complex.
If the report of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) submitted to the ongoing extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of Unesco is any indication, the experts involved in the preparation of the dossier did not come up with a foolproof plan.
For instance, when ICOMOS asked for details of comparison of the 13th century Ramappa temple in Mulugu district with other temples of Kakatiya period, the dossier just mentioned two temples – 1,000 pillars temple in Hanamkonda and Swayambhu temple in Warangal. It described the latter two as inferior to Ramappa. This despite the fact that Telangana had wanted heritage tag for Warangal fort and its temples. Later, it dropped the Warangal structures in favour of Ramappa.
Specifically mentioning this, ICOMOS said, “The State Party submitted a brief addition to the comparison of the two temples at Hanamkonda and Warangal describing their inferiority when compared to Rudreshwara (Ramappa) temple at Palampet. No other Kakatiya testimonies were mentioned.”
“Unfortunately, comparison with these two temples is limited to very general considerations in terms of their integrity and authenticity,” the ICOMOS report said. It added that such comparative material remains essential to illustrate the temple complex’s potential exceptional features in artistic terms. Telangana officials, however, said they would add more information once the current research work comparing the temples is completed.
ICOMOS in its report pinpointed the loopholes in the dossier and explained how the ‘state party’ failed to come up with clinching scientific evidence in support of the claims made for the heritage status.
As the dossier focussed only on Ramappa temple ignoring other structures in the complex, ICOMOS noted that “this nomination, as currently presented, does not meet the requirements for outstanding universal value at this stage.”
Stating that while Ramappa temple has the potential to demonstrate an outstanding universal value as an exceptional testimony of the cultural traditions of the Kakatiya dynasty, the ICOMOS report said, “None of the cultural criteria has been demonstrated at this stage.” It further noted that “while the conditions of authenticity are satisfactory, the conditions of integrity cannot be fully met in terms of completeness due to the missing features and attributes as well as a general vulnerability of the temple’s setting as a result of a lack of protection mechanisms.”
The report also expressed regret that no details are provided as to how the monitoring is implemented. “ICOMOS, therefore, considers that further information on existing monitoring programmes and their implementation are needed in order to assess their appropriateness and effectiveness… The justification for inscription lacks specific elements of the narrative and value concepts, as well as integrity, in terms of completeness, and therefore, cannot be demonstrated at this stage,” it said.

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Author: sidnaz pro