With the town luring visitors with one incredible example of architectural wonder after another, Atiranachanda Mandapam, Mahabalipuram goes oft unnoticed. Packaged with remarkable aspects, this unique cave temple stands stoic in time in the midst of massive boulders. Here, you will find yourself walking up a flight of stairs that lead to the mandapam’s forecourt.
This rectangular shaped mandapam is divided into three parts –the first part being a the forecourt with a shivalingam placed in the open air. This portion of the temple is known for its rare sculpture of Nandi, the famous bull. Just where the stairs end and near Nandi’s sculpture, you will find an impressive carving present on a boulder’s surface—it depicts Goddess Mahishamardini killing the evil demon Mahishasura.
Next in line is the artha mandapam or a beautiful verandah depicting beautiful inscriptions written in Devanagari and Pallava grantha. After visiting its many attractions, you proceed to the garbhagrihaor the sanctum sanctorum where you will come upon a rare dhara linga made of black, glistening stone. You will be impressed to see a relievo that depicts Lord Shiva as Somaskand on the wall behind the lingam. This imagery of Lord Shiva is flanked on either sides by Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu--the Supreme God’s Trimurti avatar.
|Visit Duration||30 to 45 minutes|
|Entry Fee||No Entry Fee|