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

Printed Date: Saturday, April 13, 2024

Malayadipatti Rock- cut Temples






Located near the Malayadipatti Village in Pudukkottai district, Tamil Nadu the Malayadipatti Rock Cut Temples consist of two prominent temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Vishnu cave temple is locally known as Olipathivishnu-griham and Shiva cave temple is known as Alathurthali cave. Both the caves are living temples and under worship. Both the caves face north and have been carved on the same rock running from east to west.



Shiva temple








Shiva temple is located a little higher than Vishnu temple, closer to the eastern end of hillock. Temple consists of rock-cut mandapa. At the eastern end there is sanctum sanctorum of cubical form cut inside the mandapa. Mandapa contains four pillars - two rear pillars are connected with arched brick work with sculptures of Muruga and Vinayaga behind, on a raised platform.







South wall of mandapam contains Saptamatrika panel showing 7 goddesses sitting between Ganesha and Veerbadra. West wall is adorned with a group of deities - Muruga, Sankaranarayana and the lion vehicle of Korravai in the centre.







Vishnu temple







The rock-cut temple contains huge amount of artwork - beautiful reliefs and sculptures, often covered with painted stucco. Paintings cover walls and ceiling. The presiding deity of this temple is Perumal, popular another name of Vishnu in Tamil Nadu. Temple though contains many more shrines for Vishnu, Shiva and other deities.






Rock-cut temple itself consists of mukha-mandapa (verandah), ardha-mandapa (entrance chamber) and sanctum sanctorum (the main shrine). The ancient temple is entered through a row of two square pillars and pilasters at each side. Nearly whole surface inside the temple is covered with sculptures and reliefs, stucco and paintings.