Why Kakatiya dynasty and Kakatiya Architecture are famous nowadays? What are the key features of Kakatiya Architecture? Learn all about the Kakatiya dynasty and the famous Ramappa Temple.
The Kakatiya dynasty ruled most of the eastern Deccan region between the 12th and 14th centuries.
Kakatiya architecture of 1052–1323 CE was a notable Vesara temple building architecture developed during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty 1163–1323 CE.
Most of the Kakatiya architecture is influenced by Chalukya architecture a fusion of Dravidian architecture and Nagara styles.
Key features of Kakatiya Architecture
The Kakatiyan sculptor’s influence can be seen in the distinctive design, technology, and ornamentation of the Kakatiyan temple complexes.
Trikutaalyas, the later-Chalukyan style of temple architecture and decoration that Kakatiya Temples are known for and evolved from, as well as the sculptural art and decoration unique to the period and the Kakatiyan Empire stand out.
To learn the Chalukyan style of temple architecture click here.
The Kakatiya temples, which are primarily Siva-focused, display in their building a harmonious fusion of North Indian and South Indian architectural styles that influenced the political climate of the Deccan.
Is this a mix of north Indian and south Indian styles? Yes
They adopted both the North Indian Nagara Bhumija style and the South Indian Dravida style.
The most significant of these temples are those at Palampet (Ramappa temple), Hanamkonda (Thousand Pillared temple), and the temples in the Warangal fort, including the vast, abandoned Swayambhunadha temple complex.
Who built Thousand Pillared Temple?
The Thousand Pillar Temple also called the Rudreshwara Swamy Temple was constructed by Rudra Deva in 1163 AD. This temple is one of the finest examples of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture.
Keerthi Thoranas at Gateway
Another illustration of a distinctive Kakatiya style used only in this area for the entrances to temple complexes is Keerthi Thoranas.
Earthquake-Resistant structures using Sandbox Technology & Iron Dowels
Almost 800 years back, Kakatiya built great constructions that can withstand severe earthquakes.
The Ramappa Temple and the 1000 Pillar Temple are two excellent examples of sandbox-built buildings that are resistant to earthquakes.
The sand was used by Kakatiya in the construction’s foundations. For the sand mixture to become strong, foundations were filled with a powdered mixture of granite, jaggery, and Terminalia chebula (known as karakakaya in Telugu), depending on the size.
They have only erected large, heavy constructions on this Sand Mixture foundation.
To lessen the effects of earthquake vibrations, they also used iron dowels to secure the stones of walls, pillars, and temple rooftops.
Melted iron was poured through tiny tunnels or holes drilled in each of the rocks used to build these dowels.
As a result, these dowels hold the rocks together strongly making the total construction fit like a frame and stronger.
The temples have multi carvings of different themes from upana to the prasthara.
The elegant open works by which the bracket shafts are attached to the pillars, as well as the lattice window and doorframes, are the other most interesting features.
Close Proximity to Tank, Temple, and Town
Another distinct feature of Kakatiya Architecture is the common linkage characteristic of the Tank, Temple, and Town.
They constructed the temples near the water bodies (such as lakes and tanks) that they had created.
Water tanks (water conservation structures) invariably resulted in the rise of flourishing towns with temples knitted together.
As with any Shiva temple, there is a massive Nandi at the entrance to the Shiva shrine.
Nandi’s massive structure is carved from a single piece of black basalt.
Shiva Shrines Facing East
Shiva’s shrine faces east, while the other shrines face south and west.
This was because the Kakatiya was Lord Shiva devotees who desired early morning sun rays to fall directly on Shiva Lingam.
All of the Kakatiya temple structures are in the shape of a star, as is the Ramappa temple.
Features of Ramappa Temple
Recharla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva, built the Ramappa temple in 1213 AD during the reign of the Kakatiya Empire.
Ramalingeswara Swamy is the presiding deity here (Shivalingam).
It is also known as the Ramappa temple, after the sculptor who worked on it for 40 years.
It is the only temple that has been named after its sculptor.
The construction of the temple, where the Ramalingeswaram is housed, started in 1173 AD and was finished 40 years later, in 1213 AD.
Stone is used to build the temple. But in order to reduce the weight of the temple in accordance with the soil’s characteristics, the Sanctorum was constructed of thin brick.
These bricks are smaller than those used today and float in water. Such bricks have never been used in the nation, and it is still unclear how they were made.
The maha mandapam and some of the sculptures are constructed entirely of black stone inside the temple, while red and white stones are used to construct the exterior.
Sculptures / Motifs
Shivatandavam, Sivakalyanam dance forms, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata are all depicted in lovely sculptures.
The sculptures also depict key scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Ksheera Sagara Mathanam, and Sivaparvati Kalyanam. Dance and martial arts are also included.
Twelve sculptures of Madanikas, Naginis, and Koyastris in different positions surround the temple. A few of the statues represent the importance of women in the Kakatiya dynasty as well as their jewelry.
The Kateshwara temple is on the left, the Kameshwara temple is on the right, and the Nandi idol faces the sanctum.
The Perini Shivatandava were the main subjects of the sculptures in the temple.
Drainage and Lakes
The rainwater drainage system that was built around the temple provides insight into the Kakatiyas’ technical prowess.
A short distance from the temple, Ramappa Lake is constantly full of water.
Between the two mounds, a levee and sluices were used to create the lake.
It can store 2,912 TMC, and the water level is 35 feet. The pond measures 610 meters.
Farmers cultivate two crops a year on about 10,000 acres with two sluices. This is still the main pond in the area.
Because the 800-year-old Ramappa temple was built using sandbox technology, it is still standing today.
At the temple construction site, a three-meter-deep foundation is dug and filled with sand. Make sure to maintain moisture.
The temple was built by stacking stones on the sand.
- In the Sanctorum, the Shivalingam is visible even without electric lighting. There are four substantial black stone pillars in the mahamandapana in front of the Sanctorum. As the outside light hits the lingam, it appears to be brighter.
- Images of Egyptian and Persian people can be seen in some locations. During the Kakatiya era, they are known to have interacted with foreigners. Additionally, there are some sculptures of Buddhists and Jains.
Brief on Kakatiya Dynasty
- Between the 12th and 14th centuries, the Kakatiya dynasty of South India ruled the majority of the eastern Deccan region, which includes Telangana and Andhra Pradesh today, as well as a small portion of eastern Karnataka and southern Odisha.
- Their capital was Orugallu, now known as Warangal.
- For more than two centuries, the early Kakatiya kings were subject to the Rashtrakutas and Western Chalukyas as feudatories.
- In 1163 CE, under Prataparudra I, they seized control of the region by putting down other Chalukya subjects in Telangana.
- In the 1230s, Ganapati Deva (1199-1262) significantly increased Kakatiya territory and brought Telugu-speaking lowland delta regions near the Godavari and Krishna rivers under Kakatiya rule.
- Rudrama Devi (1262–1289), one of the few queens in Indian history, succeeded Ganapati Deva.
- When Marco Polo travelled to India in 1289–1293 he was complimentary of Rudrama Devi’s rule and personality.
- She was successful in stopping Devagiri Yadavas (Seuna) incursions into Kakatiyan territory.
- The Delhi Sultanate’s Alauddin Khilji invaded the Kakatiya region in 1303, which resulted in disaster for the Turks.
- The Kakatiya army put up a brave fight against Ulugh Khan’s second assault in 1323, but they were ultimately overcome.
- A distinctive architectural style was also developed during the Kakatiya era; notable examples include the Warangal Fort, the Thousand Pillar Temple in Hanamkonda, the Ramappa Temple in Palampet, and the Kota Gullu in Ghanpur.
- Inscriptions, including about 1,000 stone inscriptions and 12 copper-plate inscriptions, provide a lot of information about the Kakatiya era.
- One of the sources is a 1978 book on the history of the Kakatiyas written by P.V.P. Sastry and published by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Must-Know Facts about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India click here
Article Written by: Remya