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| Last Updated:: 14/09/2023

Kunnandarkoil Rock Cut Temple






Kunnandarkoil is located in Pudukkottai district has a rock cut temple, which may be assigned to the time of Nandi-varman II Pallava-malla (C. 710-775 AD). In the course of the centuries, it developed, with structural additions, into a big complex. In plan it is similar to the Gokarnesvara temple at Thirugokarnam.


Its main artistic gifts are a hundred and one pillared 'ratha' (chariot) mandapam, and two splendid portrait sculptures doing duty as dvarapalaka before the main shrine. The temple has some fine bronzes also.






The rock has been excavated in two sections. In the bigger is the shrine of the principal deity, Parvatha-girisvara. To the left, separated by wall, is a smaller section in which there are three shrines dedicated to Thandavar, Subrahmanya and Ayyanar.






A small oblong ardha-mandapam fronts the shrine. The facade has not been worked upon. Nor there is a prakaram around the shrine. The structural Maha-mandapam, of later construction, contains a number of portrait sculptures.


Ratha (chariot) mandapam is of the Vijayanagara style. On an elevation stands a big hall with hundred and one pillars in six rows. To the basement are added stone wheels to simulate a running chariot.