June 29, 2013

Mahendravadi Cave Temple

Site Name: Mahendravadi Cave Temple
Site Type: A Pallava period rock-cut temple
Location:  Mahendravadi, near Arakonam, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A rock cut temple constructed during the period of Mahendravarma Pallava I
Nearest Railway Station: Arakonam
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai/Arakonam
Hotel: Go to Kanchipuram or Chennai where there are lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Kanchipuram or Chennai where there are lot of options

Mahendravadi is a small village located close to Arakonam near Chennai city in South India. The  village has a Pallava period cave temple.

Mahendravadi could have been an important city during the Pallava period. There was a huge tank and fort in this village in the olden days.

The cave temple in this village is an important one as it is the only cave temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu which was constructed by Mahendravarman I (600-630 CE). This cave is excavated on a free standing boulder. The front facade of the east facing cave temple is supported on two pillars and two pilasters. The pillars are cubical on top and bottom with an octagonal intermediate portion. This cave shrine has two rows of pillars and pilasters.

The shrine is carved at the back wall of the cave. The entrance of the shrine has two Dwarapalaks as bas-relief images. The postures of these Dwarapalaks appear as if they are in motion and they are facing away from each other. The idol of Yoga Narasimha is placed inside the shrine; it is obviously a later addition. The original idol or stucco image is missing. 

The inscription found in this temple calls this place Mahendra Vishnu Graha

Happy travelling.

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