Monday, 6 February 2012


 05, February 2012
On 4th Feb 2012, along with Reach Foundation members went to the following temples near Kanchipuram. I enjoyed the Tour and learnt many things which are not known earlier. The tour mainly focused to have more exposure to the early Tamil scripts chiseled on the walls of the temples and caves. I extend my sincere thanks to Reach foundation  and Mr. Varadharajan who has immense knowledge about the places and temples. ( He had made short films on Chola kings and Pallavs  for Discovery Channel). He explained every details of the temples we visited. We ( 12 peoples ) went to all the places  through a van  from Chennai which costs us only Rs 650.00, each  including a very good food for the whole day,  packed from Chennai.  On the way we had a dharshan of “Sabtha Mathas” at Pazhaya Seevaram on the road side ( Sri Arul Migu Aartrangarai Amman Thiru Koil ). All are in sitting posture with left leg folded. The Sabtha mathas and a Pillayar,  belongs to Pallava Kings Period made of Sand stone, since it is on the road side regular poojas are conducted.
There are lot of  Jain temples from Kanchipuram to Arani via Vandavasi built in many villages. One such place is Karanthai. The temple is very spacious and we found Pallava period Tamil  inscriptions. We were allowed to take photographs.  We found lot of similarities between Hindu temple and Jain temples. The Raja Gopuram and the Moolavar Gopuram are built very similar to Hindu temples. There are  four separate shrines for  Sri Munigiri Dhigambarar, Sri Bramakshan – Sri Bhrama Thevar ( Similar to Ayyappan  in meditation Posture with band on one leg ), Sri Mahaveerar, 1008 Sri Virukshaba Natha Bhagavaan and Sri Kookshamaandhiyakshi – Sri Dharma devi.

The Jinalaya Gopuram is of gajabirustam ( Back of elephant ) construction similar to Chozha period construction. In the 1008 Sri Virukshabanatha Gopuram we could see the Saraswathi sudhai statue on the top. Since Jains  concentrated on education and Medicine to attract the local peoples. In  Dharma Devi mandapam paintings were done beautifully below the roof. We understand that there  is no abhisekam for the moolavars. There is  a navagraha sannadhi in which the  deities  are named as follows.

Badma Tirthankara
- Suriyan
Vaasu Boojya Tirthankara
Varthamaana Tirthankara
- Guru
Mallinaatha Tirthankara
- Budhan
Pushpathantha Tirthankara
- Sukaran
Muni Sooviratha Tirthankara
- Sani
Santhirabraba Tirthankara
- Santhiran
Naemi Tirthankara
- Raghu
Baarkoova Tirthankara
- Kethu

( Saraswathy Temple ) 

( Murals on the ceiling of Dharma Devi Temple )
                                            ( Murals on the ceiling of Dharma Devi Temple )
                                            ( Murals on the ceiling of Dharma Devi Temple )
                                            ( Murals on the ceiling of Dharma Devi Temple )
( Saraswathy temple )

( Navagragar's sannadhi  and the corresponding theerthangaras ) 

( Rajagopuram is similar to Hindu temples ) 
( Rajagopuram )

There are four rock cut caves in the Mamandur hills of which two caves were used as shrines  with Pallava Period Tamil inscriptions. The total site is under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).  There is also a natural cave with a stone bed in which there is an  early 2nd century Tamil Brami inscriptions found on the rock. There is no proper steps to reach this natural cave. The details of the two rock cut cave temples are as follows and other two were only mandapams with no specific importance.

This cave is called as Rudra Vilasawaram cave temple. This rock cut temple consists of  a front mandapam with two rows of pillars. The pillars are as usual  massive square at the base & top and octagonal in the middle and carry heavy corbels. The pilasters are at either end are square from base to top. Flight of three steps from the Mandapa leads to the simple shrines entrance, such shrines are guarded by a pair of dwara balakars or the door keepers typical of deity enshrined. Only Shiva Statue if found in the middle of the three shrines. There are two Chozha inscriptions of the time Paranthaka Cholan and Rajaraja called this cave as Viruttiravaliswaram and Valiswaram respectively and mentions the Chitraaneghatalaka, a large Pallava irrigation tank. No Pallava inscription exists, but stylistically the cave is attributed to Mahendra Varma Pallava – 1 ( 600 – 630 AD ).

The north end rock cut cave  temple is facing east. The pillars has a lotus symbol of octagonal faces with pothiyals/ corbels / capital. This was chiseled during Mahendra varman -1 ( 600 – 630 AD). This rock cut cave has Tamil inscriptions on the inner mandapam wall. From the inscriptions it is learnt that Mahendra Varman has written the dramas Madhavilasa Brahasanam and the other names of  Mahendra Varman are “Sathru Mallan”, Nithya Virthan, “Sathya Saanthan“. In the shrines hole are provided to install the statues. At present there is no statue.


( Second cave ) 

( Pillars with bothiyals on the same rock)

( Pallava period tamil inscriptions ) 
( Siva lingam was installed after completion - Dwara balakrs also chiseled  ) 
( Third cave ) 

( Brami letters on the rock ) 
( Way to climb the Brami letters cave ) 
( Tablets found on the banks of the lake near dhooshi )

This is also one of the oldest temple and maintained by the private trust. Only the main shrine is in good condition. The wall and the front gopuram is in damaged condition. The inner shrine outer walls has huge grandha inscriptions. There are 83 postures of Anjaneyas are chiseled on the pillars. There is a small mandapam with old marks of Gajalakshmi suthai  sirpams are found below the roof.

Also we visited the architectural marvel of the arch with mandapam completely submerged in water, which was built below the ground level. During the Chithirai festival Sri Varadharaja Perumal of Kanchipuram, who came on procession to this place used stay in this mandapam, during that time water will be taken out, for which  a permanent structure is erected. This structure is not used now. ( It was learnt that the Naan Kadavul film was shot in this place ).


( Entrance mandapam of the Anjenear Temple ) 

( Mandapam of the  banks of the kulam ) 
( Pudai sirpam of Hanuman on the pillars ) 
                                                   ( Pudai sirpam of Hanuman on the pillars ) 

( Grantha inscriptions on the wall)
( A big stone pot ) 

This is also one of the rock cut Shiva temple  under the control of ASI. But daily poojas are conducted by the priests. This Seeya mangalam is about 4 KMs from Theysur, for which we have to take left diversion from  Vandhavasi to Arani. There are lot of Tamil inscriptions found on the walls of inner, outer and pillars. Here we can see the details of warriors statues with their feelings before and after war. The temple has the first Lord Shiva's Aanandha dhandavam is chiseled on one of the pillar with minute  details of the sculpture can be seen. Agni in one hand and a weapon on the other. It is a wonder to see how a big Shiva Shiva Linga was taken and installed inside a small Sanctum. The sanctum Vimanam is on the top of the rock very much similar to the Valli malai near Vellore. This temple complex  is very big and neatly maintained by ASI as it was once.  This temple has no Dwajasthambam and there is no separate sannathi for Ambal.  Since it is of rock cut cave temple it has no inner prakaram  

From the Tamil inscriptions it is learnt that the rock cut temple was built during Pallva kings period. As per Mr Vakula Varadharajan it is also learnt that Bodhi Dharmar was from this place. According to him, the film ‘Elam Arivu “ was distorted from the original story. 

  ( The moolavar vimanam can be seen on the rock )
 ( Mejastically standing even after centuries )

 ( The moolavar vimanam can be seen on the rock )

 ( View of the temple complex )
 ( Tamil Inscriptions ) 
  ( Tamil Inscriptions ) 
  ( Tamil Inscriptions ) 
  ( Tamil Inscriptions ) 
  ( We can see one devar is playing drum under the feet of Lord Shiva, for his dance. The snake is under Lord Shiva's feet instead of his neck. The regular muyalakan is not under the feet of Lord Shiva )

( Front mahamandapam )
The above Photographs were taken through my Sony Ericssion X10 Mini mobile.
--- OM SHIVAYA NAMA : --- 


  1. Very well written post

    1. Thanks Raman for the comments. Please visit my blog whenever you find some time and offer your comments so that I will incorporate The same and modify the existing blog

  2. Dear Mr Veluswamy, It was indeed a wonderful trip and you have documented everything so beautifully. I cant believe all these lovely pictures were shot with a mobile phone. Thanks


    1. Thanks Priya, yes the photographs were taken through my Sony Ericssion X10, Mini exclusively I kept for taking pictures. My recent yathra photos are also up loaded. Please visit.

  3. 2 Tirthankaras w a triangular Srivatsa. That's really interesting

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