Highlights of Ancient Ramappa Temple, Telangana

Hey guys, today I am going to show you the highlights of this brilliant ancient temple, known as Ramappa temple which is said to be at least 800 years old. This is located in a remote village and strangely, the temple is named after the craftsman who designed the temple, his name was Ramappa, according to folklore.

The first thing that you see is this tall tower. The tower is very special, it is made of floating bricks, yes if you take a brick out of this tower and put it in water, it will float, instead of sinking like regular bricks. This is one of such bricks from the temple. How did they create this kind of technology in ancient times and why? I have already explained this in a previous video. Because of this floating rock technology, it was recently nominated to the UNESCO world heritage site.

When you look at the ceiling, you see these  strange  patterns, these small hemispherical protrusions. There is a reason for this,  in ancient Hindu temples, every little thing was made with a reason. But I am not gonna tell you what it is, please leave your thoughts in the comment section. You can see how the different slabs are perfectly fit together, and the first time you see it, you realize that it is not perfect, you can see some gaps between the slabs. Why is it not perfectly fit? Well, let us  go in and see why these gaps exist.

Once you enter, you realize that this temple has been hit by a powerful earthquake. The floor shows several plinth beams popped out from under the ground. This is why the floor looks like this, believe it or not, the earthquake actually flattened everything nearby but the temple has only undergone minor damage. Now you realize why these gaps were formed in the ceilings of the temple. This is the effect of the earthquake. I will tell you more about the temple, but first let us go into the main chamber and see what’s inside.

Though main sanctum is elaborately designed on the outside, your eyes are naturally drifting to what’s inside. As we go towards the sanctum, there is a beautiful cylindrical lingam which appears to be made of shiny black basalt, polished to a mirror finish, but it could be made of geopolymer. What’s more interesting is the base: there are multiple striations and grooves cut on the base, looks like this whole thing was machined with high tech equipment. Remember, the main chamber is called the Sanctum Sanctorum, nobody is allowed to enter that chamber except the priest, so there is no way to examine this lingam. I am standing in the ante chamber. The lingam has a golden arch set up over it. It is quite dark here, but the main lingam looks illuminated.

Now, let us examine the carvings just outside the sanctum. Normally, the main deity will be protected by 2 male guardians called Dwarapalakas, but here we have 2 females guardians on either side of the entrance. Today, the Indian traffic system is based on the British model, we keep to the left side. But in ancient India, people always used the right side. You enter from the right and look how this female doorkeeper greets you with a Namaste. After you finish absorbing the energy from the lingam, when you go out, the other girl will give you a banana, a standard Hindu custom for anyone who leaves the place. This is the famous image of Krishna playing flute. Look how is touching a tree. Now,  If you tap on this tree, you will get different tones of music, proof of ancient technology.

The pillars of this temple are insanely decorated. The artistic appeal is just incredible. Here you can see some dancers. But notice how some of the dancers are sharing their legs, these 3 dancers should be having a total of 6 legs, but instead they have only 4 legs, and it creates an interesting optical illusion. Ancient Indian Temples have a unique way of blending art and science, to create a magical effect.

The carvings here are actually quite small, but they are all in 3D, not 2D. What this means is that you can see that the legs are carved like actual legs, there is space behind them, you can put your finger behind the legs. Carvings something like this is not easy, if these are carvings at all. I don’t know if they were molded, they look like these were made by melting rocks and casting them, like wax. There is more evidence of this, here you can see a rock, bent like a piece of rubber. This is very clear that it was bent. But rocks don’t bend, they are supposed to break, which makes me wonder, what kind of technology did ancient builders use? How did they accomplish this?

What’s crazier than these pillars? The ceiling blocks which appear to have cymatic designs. This is just mind boggling, because the details are just too much to grasp. I could spend hours explaining the ceiling features alone but I will just show you one block, so you can see what kind of details are implemented.

In the center, this is a protruding panel which is hanging in 3D. On it, you can see a dancing Shiva. There is a rhombus shape around it, where you have 4 main deities along with sub-deities, and there is another square around it, where you have 4 more deities, also with sub-deities. These are called Ashtadik Palakas, the guardians of 8 directions. There are also 4 rectangles outside, each one telling a different story of Shiva. You can see all the other characters from these stories as well. But it does not stop there, there are 4 more rectangles outside this too, which tell  more stories of Shiva. So, in just one panel, there are more than a 100 deities, all of them are still identifiable, after 800 years.  I am too tired even to explain the gods and what they do here , but imagine how hard it must have been to carve them. There is a lot more stuff I could show you inside the temple, but let us go outside, because there are some really crazy things we can see on the outside as well.

Look at these carvings… what we see are crazy scenes from ancient wrestling fights. Look at the various types of locks and positions these carvings are showing. This means that these kind of sports existed at least 800 years ago in India, even though I believe that this temple is much older. Look at this carving, see how the guy on top has completely dominated the guy on the bottom, making him impossible to move. But what’s more interesting? We can even see a referee standing nearby, giving a point, just like what we see in today’s wrestling games.

In the outside wall, there are plenty of carvings which show dancing women, various animals,  Hindu gods, etc but there are two carvings carved side by side, which stand out. The first one is a figure which holds a shield and a sword. The second one is the same figure but it is shown completely unclad with very long arms, his arms are going below his knees. What is the story behind this? He is Bahubali, the popular jain God who renounces war and becomes a monk. His long ears and arms confirm that he is Bahubali, but why is this carved in a Hindu Temple? Because in ancient India, all religions co-existed quite peacefully, this is why we see Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples , all carved together in places like Ellora caves for example.

Another fascinating thing is the elephants carved on the walls. There are a total of 526 elephants carved, and locals claim that no 2 elephant carvings look alike. But I think, this is an exaggeration, the elephants, just like the female guardians are actually telling us how to go around the temple. If you do not know how to go around the temple, just follow the elephants. Walk where the elephants walk, and stand and pray to Gods, where the elephants pray to Gods. If you understand symbolism, you will understand ancient India.

Praveen Mohan

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