November 7, 2009

Atiranachanda Mandapa, Tiger's Cave, Chennai, India

Atiranachanda Mandapa is located at a corner in the Tiger's Cave complex, near Chennai, India. Tiger's Cave is located at a village named Saluvankuppam on East Coast Road (ECR) between the cities Chennai and Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu, India. The distance of Tiger's cave is 5 kms from Mamallapuram and around 52 kms from Chennai.

The front facade of the east facing mandapa is supported by two pillars and two pilasters. The pillars are square at the top and base and in between is an octagonal shaft.There are three cells carved in the mandapa. The central cell alone is complete; the remaining two cells just have the wall portions. The central cell has a black polished multi faced Shiv Linga and Somaskanda panel on the back wall. Somaskanda is a form of Shiva, Parvati along with the baby Skanda, flanked by Vishnu and Brahma. Two dwarapalaks are carved in the niches at the entrance of the cell. The remaining two cells too have similar Somaskanda panels carved on the back wall. Scholars believe that this monument was built either by Mamalla or Rajasimha Pallava.

The temple is located below from the ground level . The temple also has some rock carvings depicting the images of goddess Durga killing the buffalo faced demon, Mahisasura. Outside the cell, the stone idols of Shiv Linga and Nandi are found.

You can also visit Tiger's Cave, ancient Muruga temple unearthed by Tsunami and the nearby beach along with this serene and calm ancient temple.

It is definitely an architectural marvel which you should not miss.

You can easily reach the site either by public transport or on your own as the site is located well on the high road.

Happy travelling.

Site Name: Atiranachanda Mandapa, Tiger's Cave
Type: Sculpture, ancient rock cut temple
Location: Saluvankuppam village - 52 km from Chennai on East Coast Road (ECR)
1) 7th century AD Pallava architecture
2) Rock cut temple

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  1. You have given an impressive photo album on rock cut temple of shiva. Nice article!

  2. the photos r really marvellous.