Wednesday Jun 19, 2024

Mamallapuram Trimurti Cave Temple, Kanchipuram


Mamallapuram Trimurti Cave Temple, Kanchipuram

Mamallapuram, Kanchipuram district,

Tamilnadu – 603104


Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu


The Trimurti Cave Temple, located in Mamallapuram (also known as Mahabalipuram), is a remarkable example of Pallava architecture in South India. This cave temple, dedicated to the Trimurti, representing the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Location: The Trimurti Cave Temple is situated in Mamallapuram, a city renowned for its sculptures and monuments, which is located along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu.

Trinity Deities: The temple is dedicated to the Trimurti, which is the representation of the three major deities in Hinduism. The central shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer. The right shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver, and the left shrine is dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator.

Dwarapalakas: At the entrance to each shrine, you can find Dwarapalakas, the guardian deities, who are positioned on either side of the doorways. These figures are common in Hindu temple architecture and symbolize the protection of the deities within.

Goddess Durga Panel: Inside the temple, there is an independent niche dedicated to Goddess Durga, portrayed in her Mahishasuramardhini form. This form of Durga is depicted with eight hands and is shown standing on the head of the buffalo demon Mahisa, representing the triumph of good over evil.

Elephants Panel: On the rear wall of the cave, there is an exquisite bas-relief panel. This panel features two elephants along with their cubs, as well as a monkey and a peacock. These intricate carvings demonstrate the artistic and sculptural skills of the Pallava dynasty.

Architecture: The Trimurti Cave Temple is distinct from other cave temples in Mamallapuram in that it lacks a pillared mandapa or hall. Instead, it consists of three shrines directly excavated into the vertical rock face of a 100-ft high cliff. This rock-cut temple dates back to the 7th century and is dedicated to the three principal deities of Hinduism.

The temple’s setting on a high cliff and its unique architectural features make it a significant and interesting site for visitors and devotees interested in ancient Indian rock-cut architecture and Hindu mythology. While it is not definitively known which Pallava king built this monument, it is undoubtedly a valuable heritage site that showcases the rich history and artistic achievements of the Pallava dynasty.


8th century

Managed By

UNESCO World Heritage Site

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