Ancient Cave Temples of Tamilnadu
Tamilnadu is a land well-known for its culture and tradition which is located in the middle of the Indian Ocean along the the shores of the Bay of Bengal. It stands as the 11th largest state of India and is popular for its temples with big towering gopurams, music,literature, and dance. Tamilnadu is thus called as the land of temples. This article gives you the details about the cave temples of Tamilnadu which is present all over the state of Tamilnadu. The credit of building of this cave temples goes to the Pallava kings who are popular for their artistic skills. There are many cave temples and only some of the famous cave temples are given here in this article.
Mahabalipuram cave temples
Mahabalipuram cave temples stands as an excellent example for the architectural skills of the Pallava kings. The main structures of the Mahabalipuram cave temples are as follows:
1. ThiruKadal Mallai
2. Arjuna's Penance
3. Varaha temple
4. Descent of the Ganges
5. The Shore temple
6. Pancha Rathas
The Mahabalipuram cave temples are one of the historic monuments which was built by the Pallavas between the 7th and the 9th centuries and is marked as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mandagapattu cave temple
Mandagapattu cave temple is one among the famous cave temples which is about 20 km from Viluppuram. This is also built by the Pallava kings. Mandagapattu village is located in the Viluppuram district which can be easily reached from Chennai air port. The north facing side of the cave temple has got two pillars and pilasters.The cave temple has also got two carved dvarpalas on either end of the temple.
Pillayarpatti Cave Temnple
Pillayarpatti Cave Temnple is one of the famous temples of Lord Vinayaga. The Lord here is known as the Karpaka Vinayakar and this temple is located in a place called Pillayarpatti which is near Karaikudi. This is one of the ancient rock cut temples in Tamilnadu. This place has got its name from the Lord Vinayaga whi is named as "pillayar" in Tamil.
The Pillayarpatti cave temple has also got shrines of Lord Shiva, Lord Muruga, Goddess Parvathi and others as well. The presiding deity of Lord Vinayaga is well-portrayed with a trunk which is curled on the righthand sidetwo arms and also two arms. The height of the diety is 6 feet.
Thiruchirapalli cave temple
Thiruchirapalli cave temple is located in Tiruchirappalli which is called as the Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom. There are 3 temples which are grouped together and called as the Thiruchirapalli cave temples, they are as follows:
1. Manikka Vinayakar temple at the foot of the hill,
2. Taayumaanavar Koyil Shivastalam on the hill and
3. The Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill.
These cave temples at Thiruchirapalli are among the list of the famous cave temples of Tamilnadu.
Satyagirinathan (Vishnu) temple
Satyagirinathan temple is located in a place called Thirumayam which is near Pudukkottai. This is one of the most beautiful cave temples in Tamilnadu. In this temple one can see the Lord in a reclining position and is flanked by the other important Lords such as the Lord Garuda, Lord Chitragupta, Lord Markandeya, Lord Bhrahma. At the entrance of the temple one can see the shrines of Lord Bhairava, Lord Hanuman, Goddess Shakti and Lord Ganapati, and the grama devata karuppu. This cave temple is very popular among all of the cave temples of Tamilnadu and attracts quite a number of tourists from all over the world..
Jain Cave Temple
Jain Cave Temple located at Sittanavasal is another famous rock-cut cave temples of the 7th century. This temple is located in Pudukottai District which is about 58 kms from Trichy. The temple is also known as Arivar-koil and has got many artistic paintings of the 9th century. The temple also acted as a centre for the flourishment of Jainism. This temple was first ever identified in the year 1916 by a historian named Radhakrishna Iyer and he has also registered this place in his book "General History of the Pudukkottai State".
Mahendravadi cave temple
Mahendravadi cave temple is a Single Rock Cut Temple located in a village called Mahendravadi in Arakonam. This was built by Pallava Varman and was excavated by Gunabhara in the tank called Mahendra thataka before 1700 years. The main deity of the temple is Lord Narasimha.
Shervaroyan cave temple
Shervaroyan cave temple is one among the most important cave temples which is built on the top of Shervaroyan hill. This hill is located in the hill station Yercaud which is almost 5326 feet above the sea level. The temple stands in the highest point in the Hill station Yercaud in Tamilnadu. The main deity of the Sherveroyan temple is the Lord Shervaroyan and the Goddess Cauvery. Lord Shervaroyan represent the Shervaroy Hills and the Goddess Cauvery represent the Cauvery river.