THIS VILLAGE is dominated by the Ramappa Temple, the best preserved example of Kakatiya architecture. Dedicated to Shiva, it was built in 1234 by Recherla Rudra, a general of the ruler Ganapatideva (r.1199- 1262). Like the temple at Hanamkonda, it too has a spacious mandapa with beautifully sculpted black basalt columns. This mandapa, cruciform in plan, also has porches with balcony seats on three sides. The eaves sheltering the peripheral columns are supported by angled struts, many of which are fashioned as three-dimensional maidens with graceful bodies in dancing poses. Other similar but smaller relief figures, as well as scenes from the epics, are seen in the central ceiling panel within the mandapa.

The exterior of the sanctuary, in contrast, is devoid of any carvings. The restrained ornamentation and simple modelling are typical of the elegance of Kakatiya art. A stone pavilion sheltering a Nandi, smaller in size than the one at Hanamkonda, but as exquisitely carved, stands in front of the temple. South of the Ramappa Temple is Ranaappa Cheruvu, a vast artificial lake created by Recherla Rudra, and surrounded by picturesque hills.

ENVIRONS: More Kakatiys temples can be seen at Ghanpur, a little village 13 km (8 miles) northwest of Palampet. The largest consists of a pair of Shiva shrines, both with mandapas and balcony seats. The main shrine has delightful female dvarapalas (doorkeepers), dancing maidens and finely carved brackets. Other minor shrines dot the walled compound.

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