Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Friday, May 24, 2024

Kudumiyanmalai Rock cut cave Temple







Kudumiyanmalai Rock cut cave Temple is located in Pudukkottai district, Tamilnadu. The presiding deity of the temple here is Sikhagiriswarar. This cave temple is called Melakkoil or Tirumerrali. The lingam was hewn out of the same rock, as the temple took shape, resulting in one big monolith of temple and deity.








The temple complex at Kudimiyanmalai comprises a rock-cut temple and a structural edifice (Sikanatha temple) built during circa 10th century. The rock-cut shrine (known as Tirumulattanam) along with a mandapa was excavated around circa 8th century. The famous musical inscription describing notations for the seven-stringed musical instrument 'Parivadini' is engraved to the right of the cave temple. The mahamandapa attached with the structural temple has exquisite pillars and portrait sculptures of Nayaka period.












The temple is also noted for the rock-cut panel depicting sixty-three nayanmar (saints) worshipping Siva and Parvati. Jain vestiges in the form of Tamil-Brahmi inscription found on the south-western slope of the hill pushes its antiquity to early historical times.