Tiger Cave (India)

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The Tiger cave with tiger head carvings at the mouth of the cave Tiger Cave Mamallapuram.jpg
The Tiger cave with tiger head carvings at the mouth of the cave
The rocky outcrop close to Tiger Cave. The discovery of an inscription on one of these led to the excavation of the Subrahmanya Temple Tiger Cave rocky outcrop.jpg
The rocky outcrop close to Tiger Cave. The discovery of an inscription on one of these led to the excavation of the Subrahmanya Temple

The Tiger Cave is a rock-cut Hindu temple complex located in the hamlet of Saluvankuppam near Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, India. It gets its name from the carvings of tiger heads on the mouth of a cave which forms a part of the complex. The Tiger Cave is considered to be one of the Mahabalipuram rock-cut temples constructed by the Pallavas in the 8th century AD. The site is located on the Bay of Bengal coast and is a popular picnic spot and tourist destination. The temple is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Indian rock-cut architecture

Indian rock-cut architecture is more various and found in greater abundance in that country than any other form of rock-cut architecture around the world. Rock-cut architecture is the practice of creating a structure by carving it out of solid natural rock. Rock that is not part of the structure is removed until the only rock left makes up the architectural elements of the excavated interior. Indian rock-cut architecture is mostly religious in nature.

Saluvankuppam, also spelt as Salavankuppam or Saluvanakuppam, is a coastal hamlet in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated on the East Coast Road at a distance of 7 kilometres from Mahabalipuram on the Chennai-Mahabalipuram stretch. The Tiger Cave, which forms a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram is located here. The recently unearthed Subrahmanya Temple close to Tiger Cave is also located here. The hamlet along with its surroundings house a number of resorts and is a popular tourist destination.

Tamil Nadu State in Southern India

Tamil Nadu, formerly Madras State, is one of the 29 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry and the South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bounded by the Eastern Ghats on the north, by the Nilgiri Mountains, the Meghamalai Hills, and Kerala on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait on the southeast, and by the Indian Ocean on the south. The state shares a maritime border with the nation of Sri Lanka.

The discovery of an inscription on a rocky outcrop in the Tiger Cave complex in 2005 led to the excavation of a Sangam period Subrahmanya Temple close by.

Sangam period Period in the history of ancient southern India

Sangam period is the period of history of ancient Tamil Nadu and Kerala spanning from c. 5th century BCE to c. 3rd century CE. It is named after the famous Sangam academies of poets and scholars centered in the city of Madurai.

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Pataleshwar cave temple in Pune

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Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort historic fort and temple complex in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu

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Architecture of Tamil Nadu

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Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram UNESCO world heritage site at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.

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Pancha Rathas monument complex at Mahabalipuram, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed by UNESCO as Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

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Varaha Cave Temple building in India

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Shore Temple structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD, it is one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Bhima Ratha

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Draupadi Ratha

The Draupadi Ratha is a monument in the Pancha Rathas complex at Mahabalipuram, previously called Mamallapuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is an example of monolithic Indian rock-cut architecture. Dating from the late 7th century, it is attributed to the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I of the Pallava Kingdom. The entire complex is under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and is one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.

Mahishasuramardini Mandapa rock-cut cave temple

Mahishasuramardhini Mandapa is an example of Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century, of the Pallava dynasty. It is a rock-cut cave temple located on a hill, near a lighthouse, along with other caves in Mamallapuram. It is the one of the finest testimonials of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis. Mamallapuram, also popularly known as Mahabalipuram, is a small village to the south of Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1984. This Cave Temple has many interesting architectural features of which three exquisitely carved reliefs on the cave walls of three sanctums are prominent. One is of Vishnu reclining on the seven hooded serpent, Adisesha, another of Durga, the main deity of the cave temple slaying the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura, and the third sanctum also has a sculpture of Vishnu. The cave also depicts many scenes from the Puranas.

Ganesha Ratha building in India

Ganesha Ratha is a temple in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of ten rathas ("chariots") carved out of pink granite within the group of monuments of the Pallava Period at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage Site since 1984. The ratha is an example of monolith Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late seventh century during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I. Initially constructed with a Shiva Linga, it is now deified with a Ganesha deity after the linga was removed.

Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram

The Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram are located on the hillock of the town, overlooking the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Kanchipuram District in Tamil Nadu, India. They are cut and decorated with panels in the Mamalla style of the Pallava period in the 7th century. They are differentiated from the Adiranchanda cave temples which are dated to the Mahendraverman period of the 8th century. Remnants seen in the caves also indicate that they were plastered and painted when built. One of the most impressive sculpture panels, bas-reliefs, carved on the walls in the caves is that of the goddess Durga who killed Mahishasura the buffalo-headed demon which has a natural beauty with elegance of sense of movement, and this bas-relief panel in the Mahsisuramardhini Cave Temple is considered a masterpiece of Indian art. Many of the caves of the Pallava period have remained incomplete. The procedure in creating these caves involved creation of a smooth rock face, then cutting columns through the polished rock faces of required size and then carving bas-reliefs on the walls of the cave.

Panchapandava Cave Temple building in India

Panchapandava Cave Temple is a monument at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The mandapa is part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram. It is the largest cave temple in Mahabalipuram. It is an example of Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century. The temple is one of the finest testimonial to the ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis, of rock-cut cave architecture, out of many such caves also called mandapas. Part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as inscribed in 1984 under criteria i, ii, iii and iv.

Krishna Mandapam, Mahabalipuram

Mandapa of Krishna or Krishna Mandapam is a monument at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1984. It is located on a hillock next to the open rock relief of Descent of the Ganges (Mahabalipuram).

Mamandur village in India

Mamandur is a village in Tiruvanamalai district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located on the Kanchipuram - Vandavasi road, near Dusi and about 15 km from Kanchipuram. It is known for the 7th-century rock-cut cave temple, housing a Tamil Brahmi inscription, one of the monuments of national importance as declared by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Masrur Temples 8th-century rock cut stone temple and ruins in Himachal Pradesh

The Masrur Temples, also referred to as Masroor Temples or Rock-cut Temples at Masrur, is an early 8th-century complex of rock-cut Hindu temples in the Kangra Valley of Beas River in Himachal Pradesh, India. The temples face northeast, towards the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. They are a version of North Indian Nagara architecture style, dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Devi and Saura traditions of Hinduism, with its surviving iconography likely inspired by a henotheistic framework. Though a major temples complex in the surviving form, the archaeological studies suggest that the artists and architects had a far more ambititious plan and the complex remains incomplete. Much of the Masrur's temple's sculpture and reliefs have been lost. They were also quite damaged, most likely from earthquakes.

References

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