Intricate carvings and sculptures at the Ramappa Temple bear testimony to the architectural beauty of the Kakatiyas, says Vishnupriya Bhandaram

A quick weekend getaway to Palampeta is best enjoyed when the sky is overcast, and makes the 75-km journey from Warangal delightful. Through the journey, take in the far-reaching views of countryside, dotted with cotton fields and hillocks. The varied hues of Nature and fresh air rejuvenate your senses.

A kilometre down the village is the Ramlingeswara Temple, better known as the Ramappa Temple. It dates back to the 12th Century. Apparently the temple is named after its sculptor Ramappa, who worked under Rechlera Rudra, a Kakatiya Genapati Deva King. Located amidst fresh green fields and a huge garden, the temple was built over 40 years and that isn’t surprising, considering the intricate carvings.

Having survived numerous invasions, battles and earthquakes, Ramappa Temple remains an excellent example of Kakatiya architecture. The temple wall is made up of huge stones. The entrances to the temple have sculptures of elephants sitting. The temple symbolises the various facets of Shiva. It appears to be a structure made up of pillars with ornate carvings. Its design also bears the influence of Chalukya architecture. The most interesting part of the temple, however, is the polished black granite figurines on the sides of the mandapa.

Ramappa Temple proves to be a delight for both history and architecture buffs. But a temple of this significance needs to be protected — of the three shrines of Rudreswara, Kateswara and Kameswara, the last two are in ruins.

Near the temple is the Ramappa lake, which is in line with the Kakatiya tradition of building temples around a lake. The lake is a magnificent example of the irrigation system of the 12th Century. The artificial lake, surrounded by green fields and forests, is said to have been constructed to irrigate nearly 9,000 acres of agricultural land.

Today, with its beautiful landscape, it makes for a simple getaway. Go for a boat ride or watch the soft rays of the setting sun glitter over the water.

History buffs can stop over for a glimpse of the ruins of the Warangal Fort. The intricate sculptures make the stop worthy.

Also visit the 1,000-pillar temple, another architectural marvel and you'll feel the past come alive.

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