Yesterday i found time to visit this famous rock-cut temple on the way to Mahabalipuram (yes, Pallavas). Having heard about this place many times, it was interesting to see that the complex housed two rock-cut temples – the tiger cave (so named after the tigers adorning the cave like a garland and used as a stage to address the audience) and the shiva temple, called the Athirachananda cave (which i believe is being worshiped by the locals even to this day).
History says that these rock-cut structures were built sometime around the 7th – 8th Century AD by Narasimhavarman I of the Pallavas who were also building several other prominent structures along the East Coast Road. There are a few unfinished rock structures within the complex and these structures are maintained by the ASI under the ticketed monument model.
One of my friends who is also a history buff claims that the excavation site of a murugan temple (son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi) which is present in this complex could be THE ancient temple ever built in TamilNadu dating back more than 2000 years! Food for thought.
Hope you learnt something new about my country’s fascinating history and liked the pictures!