October 3, 2015

Little known Mural Paintings of Ayyan Kulam - Thanjavur

Site Name: Ayyan Kulam
Site Type: Ancient paintings and carvings
Location:  Mela Masi Veethi (West Main Street), Tanjore city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A locally well known site with unknown paintings/stucco images
Nearest Railway Station: Tanjore
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road and rail
Hotel: A lot of options across the entire Tanjore city
Restaurants: A lot of options across the entire Tanjore city

Those who know about Thanjavur (Tanjore) city in South India know mainly about the great Brahadeeswarar Temple built by Raja Raja Chola around 1000 years back. However, there are many rare and interesting sites found across the entire city. Let us explore about an interesting place in this article.

Ayyankulam is an important landmark in Thanjavur. It is a tank which belongs to the Konganeeswarar temple located opposite. Although this a well known landmark, similar to other water bodies in Tamil Nadu, this tank is also ignored and partly used as dump yard by the locals. Hardly few people know the beautiful stucco images and mural paintings that are found on the walls of the mandapa on the banks of this tank.

This tank can be dated back to 16th or 17th century CE (Thanjavur Nayaka Kings period). The colorfully painted stucco images and mural paintings that are found here belong to the same period.

Some of the images/paintings that are found here include Pattabhishek of Ram, ten avatars (Dashavatars) of Vishnu, Ravan trying to lift Kailash, Nataraj, Bhairava, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu and Agni.

Happy travelling.

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