World Heritage Site status for Ramappa Temple.

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News: The 800-year-old Ramappa Temple was conferred the World Heritage Site status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a consensus was reached in the ongoing virtual summit of the World Heritage Committee. With this addition, India now has 39 such World Heritage Sites. Read the news here.

Read more on UPSC Current Affairs Here.

About Ramappa Temple for UPSC:

The Ramappa temple is a 13th Century (1213 to be precise) temple also known as Rudreshwara temple. It is located in Palampet, Telangana. It was constructed during the Kakatiya Dynasty. The Kakatiya’s ruled from Warangal (Telangana) from CE 1083-1323. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built during the reign of Ganapati Deva. Interestingly enough (and super easy to remember), the temple got its name after its sculptor, Ramappa.

It is said that Marco Polo, during his visit to the Kakatiya Empire, called the temple “the brightest star in the galaxy of temples”. The temple represents the Dravidian style of architecture. The roof of the temple is built with bricks, which are so light that they are able to float on water. There are two small Shiva shrines on either side of the main temple. Moreover, the masterpiece has survived over the years and has also been sustained through an earthquake during the 17th century due to its ‘sandbox technique’ of laying the foundation.

About World Heritage Sites for UPSC:

A World Heritage Site is a site or an area given due legal protection by an international convention which is administered by UNESCO. Places with historic, cultural, scientific, and other forms of significance which are considered to give outstanding value to humanity are included in the list of world heritage sites. In short, a world heritage site can be anything that has cultural and physical importance. The organization has its origins in the Convention concerning the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage signed by 193 members in 1972.

World Heritage Sites in India:

India accepted the convention in 1977. India has 39 such sites recognized by UNESCO with the latest inclusion of Ramappa Temple. The first of the world heritage sites to be conferred in India were Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Agra Fort, and Taj Mahal in 1983. Maharashtra has the highest number of sites (6). Out of the 39 sites, 31 are cultural, 7 are natural, and 1 is mixed (meeting both cultural and natural criteria). India ranks 6th in the world in terms of world heritage sites. Italy has the highest number 57, followed by China (56).

They are:

  1. Agra Fort
  2. Ajanta Caves
  3. Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda
  4. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
  5. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
  6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
  7. Churches and Convents of Goa
  8. Elephanta Caves
  9. Ellora Caves
  10. Fatehpur Sikri
  11. Great Living Chola Temples
  12. Group of Monuments at Hampi
  13. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
  14. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
  15. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  16. Historic City of Ahmadabad
  17. Humayun’s Tomb
  18. Jaipur City
  19. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
  20. Mahabodhi Temple Complex
  21. Mountain Railways of India
  22. Qutb Minar and its Monuments
  23. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell)
  24. Red Fort Complex
  25. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
  26. Sun Temple
  27. Taj Mahal
  28. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement
  29. The Jantar Mantar
  30. Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai
  31. Great Himalayan National Park-Conservation Area
  32. Kaziranga National Park
  33. Keoladeo National Park
  34. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
  35. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
  36. Sundarbans National Park
  37. Western Ghats
  38. Khangchendzonga National Park
  39. Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple.

Possible questions for UPSC prelims and Mains:

  1. How many World Heritage Sites are there in India in 2021? Ans: 39
  2. Which city of India has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site recently? Ans: Ramappa (Telangana)
  3. Which is the first world heritage site in India? Ans: Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Agra Fort, and Taj Mahal in 1983
  4. Which country has the highest World Heritage sites? Ans: Italy
  5. Which state in India has the highest UNESCO World Heritage sites? Maharashtra (6)

Which of the following statement is not true about the Red Fort of Agra?

A.  It is situated on the bank of river Yamuna.

B.  This fort was built in 1565

C.  It was constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565.

D.  It is tagged as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1989

Ans: D

Which of the following statement is not true about Ajanta caves?

A.  Ajanta caves were tagged as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983.

B.  Currently, these caves are taken care of by the Archeological Survey of India.

C.  The general style of paintings at The Ajanta caves seems to have influenced paintings in Tibet and Srilanka.

D.  Ajanta caves were excavated between the 12th century and 16th centuries.

Ans: D

Which of the following statement is not true about Sanchi Stupa?

A.  It is situated at Sanchi in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh.

B.  It is situated in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra

C.  Sanchi tagged as the World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1989.

D.  Stupa at Sanchi is the oldest stone composition in India and was originally commissioned by the emperor Bindusara.

Ans:  D

Which of the following is not true about elephant caves?

A.  In 1987, Elephanta Caves were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

B.  Caves are made from solid rock.

C.  Portuguese renamed these caves  as Elephanta

D.  These caves are excavated during the 11th century.

Ans: D


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