Cave-Temples of the Pallavas

Cave-Temples of the Pallavas

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Item Code: IDJ475
Author: K. R. Srinivasan
Publisher: Archaeological Survey of India
Edition: 1993
Pages: 264 (B/W Plates: 104)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 11.0 X" 8.4"
Preface to the Series

Indian temple-Architecture has engaged the attention of Competent persons for more than a century, from the days of the pioneering work of James Fergusson. Much valuable work has already been done, as a result of which the lines of evolution and regional characterizations have been established in broad outlines. Bt the finer line have still to be drawn, and this can be done by a more extensive fieldwork and intensive examination of the data collected there from. It is for this dual purpose-survey and study of temple-architecture-that the Archaeological Survey of India set up, in 1955, an organization with two of its senior officers, one for the north and the other for the south, and the necessary staff. Both the officers have already covered much ground, though, due to the enormity of the work, much more remains to be covered. To the original scope of the project has now been added the study of iconography, for it would indeed have been an avoidable duplication of work were a separate organization for iconographic survey to be created.

It may be made clear that any attempt at co-ordination between the silpa-sastras and the monuments has been kept out of the purview of the project, for that would have entailed an unnecessary widening of its scope, besides being fraught with the risk of the introduction of subjective and uncertain elements into a factual survey and study. A great deal of vagueness prevails at present about the interpretations of many basic terms of the silpa-sastras. Thus, there is no concensus on the meanings of the terms Nagara, Vesara and Dravida-the three primary Orders of architecture according to the texts. While some persons have regarded the Orissan temples as the purest examples of the Nagara Order, others have seen in them the illustration of the Vesara. Again, while the Dravida order, by its name, does seem to have a geographical connotation, as a corollary, has been extended to the other two, perhaps on inadequate grounds. The term Vesara, for instance, would lose all regional significance and assume a purely architectural aspect if it is, as seems very likely, a corrupt form of Sanskrit day-asra,' two-angled' (which is indeed implied in its definition by the) Mana-sara as vrittasy-agre dvy-asrakam, 'having two angles in front of a round part,' and would very appropriately describe an apsidal structure.)

Instances like this can be multiplied. It is clear that the pitfalls in the way of interpretations of the silpa-sastras are many and much laborious work is necessary to level the ground and put the interpretations on an unassailable basis. But to say this is not to mean that no help need be derived out of the texts even at this stage. Where the meanings of the textual terms are certain, as the names of many architectural components indeed are, there is no treason why they should not be freely used in preference to the often inapt terms of European architecture.

The planning of the survey has necessarily been on a regional and chronological basis: it is only on this basis that the spatial and temporal developments of architectural elements can be brought out. This basis, it is admitted, may tend largely to coincide with a dynastic grouping -a tendency to avoid which precautions have to be taken, or art and architecture should reflect something less ephemeral than dynastic vagaries. At the same time, in cases where all or most of the monuments in a group are the direct outcome of the initiative and patronage of the rulers of a particular dynasty, a dynastic appellation of that group would doubtless be justified.

The first Number of the Architectural Survey of Temples Series embodies the results of the survey and study of the cave-temples executed by and under the auspices of the Pallavas. The future Numbers will be published as and when they are ready. Circumstances do not favour the publication of the Numbers in any definite order.


Chapter IIntroduction1
Chapter IIThe Pallavas of the Simhavishnu Line4
Mahendravarman I5
Narasimhavarman I Mamalla6
Mahendravarman II6
Paramesvaravarman I7
Narasimhavarman II Rajasimha8
Mahendravarman III8
Paramesvaravarman II8
Nandivarman II Pallavamalla9
Nandivarman III11
Nandivarman IV15
Chapter IIIPallava Rock-Cut Architecture25
Chapter IVThe Styles of Mahendra and Mamalla 37
The Mahendra style37
The Mamalla style43
Chapter V:The Cave-Temples47
The Mahendra style47
Period I
Mandagappattu: Lakshita's cave-temple47
Pallavaram: Panchapandava cave-temple51
Mamandur II: Rudravalisvaram cave-temple54
Kuranganilmuttam: Kal-mandakam cave-temple58
Vallam I: Vasantesvaram cave-temple61
Mahendravadi: Mahendra's Vishnu cave-temple64
Mamandur I: northern cave-temple67
Dalavanur: Satrumalla's cave-temple71
Tiruchirappalli-Lalitankura's cave-temple (upper)79
Siyamangalam: Avanibhajana's cave-temple89
Vilappakkam: Panchapandava cave-temple94
Aragandanallur: unfinished cave-temple98
Period II
Tirukkalukkunram: Orukal-mandapam cave-temple100
Mahabalipuram: Kotikal-mandapam cave-temple107
Singaperumal-koil: Narasimha cave-temple110
Singavaram: Ranganatha cave-temple112
Melacheri Sikhari Pallavesvaram cave-temple116
Mamandur IV: smaller unfinished cave-temple118
Mamandur III: large unfinished cave-temple118
Mahabalipuram: Dharmaraja-mandapam or Atyantakama's cave-temple122
Saluvankuppam: Atiranachanda's cave-temple125
Period III
Kilmavilangai: Vishnu rock-cut cell130
Vallam II: lower (Siva) cave-temple132
Vallam III: northern (Vishnu) cave-temple134
The Mamalla style
Mahabalipuram: Koneri-mandapam, five-celled (Siva) cave-temple134
Mahabalipuram: Varaha-mandapam cave-temple141
Mahabalipuram: Mahishamardini-mandapam cave-temple148
Mahabalipuram: Trimurti cave-temple156
Mahabalipuram: unfinished cave-temples161
Mahabalipuram: Paramesvara-Mahavaraha-Vishnu-griha (Adivaraha) cave temple166
Mahabalipuram: Ramanuja-mandapam cave-temple175
Saluvankuppam: Yali-mandapam (Tiger-cave)180
Mahabalipuram: the smaller Yali-mandapam183
Mahabalipuram: Mahishasura rock-cut cell183
Mahabalipuram: Mahishasura rock-cut cell184
Glossary of Indian Architectural Terms185
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