Warangal: Ramappa beckons pilgrims, heritage lovers from far

Aerial view of Ramappa Temple in Palampet village in Mulugu District
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Aerial view of Ramappa Temple in Palampet village in Mulugu District

Highlights

The UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites tag to Kakatiya era Ramappa Temple could change the face of tourism in the erstwhile Warangal district.

Warangal: The UNESCO's World Heritage Sites tag to Kakatiya era Ramappa Temple could change the face of tourism in the erstwhile Warangal district.

Especially, the tribal hinterland is set to witness exponential economic growth that hitherto minimal due to lack of exposure to the Ramappa Temple on the global tourism map.

The 1213-built Ramappa Temple had its heydays for over a century. Thereafter, temple disappeared into oblivion following the invasion of Muslim kings. It spent around 550 years in the wilderness before it became accessible again in 1900.

Thanks to a local Muslim king Asif Jahil who did his bit in reviving the temple. Although the temple came under the ambit of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1951, the shrine didn't witness as much development as one would have aspired.

Despite its universal value in its construction that includes floating bricks, sandbox technology and the black dolomite rocks, the shrine remained one among many historical places in the region. Altogether, now it's going to witness a new phase.

Although erstwhile Warangal has all the potential to become a tourist powerhouse considering the range of tourist spots – Warangal Fort, 1,000 Pillars and Ramappa temples with standout architecture of Kakatiya times, besides scenic laidback locations such as Laknavaram lake, Bogatha waterfalls, Pandavula Gutta that houses rock art and also ideal for adventure sports, Tadvai huts, trekking to Blackberry islands etc., it never came close to drawing tourists in huge numbers.

Speaking to The Hans India, Warangal Tourism Officer M Shivaji said: "With the Ramappa Temple is set to become the face of Warangal's tourism, the erstwhile district has a huge opportunity to draw the foreign tourists that could make a world of difference to the local economy."

In all, the erstwhile Warangal draws 20 lakh tourists (excluding the year of biennial Sammakka Saralamma jatara at Medaram) every year. The number of foreign tourists is anywhere between 1,200 and 1,500 every year, Shivaji said, predicting more tourists from abroad especially after Ramappa inscribed as UNESCO's World Heritage Site.

It may trigger infrastructural development, better transportation modes, star hotels etc, besides bringing in private players into the hospitality business Historian Aravind Arya Pakide said, stating that Mulugu, predominantly Adivasi district, will be the major beneficiary as it has a host of laid back destinations.

Realty business will also get a big boost, he said, also hoping for patronage to the Adivasis' indigenous products.

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