Saturday, October 10, 2015

Miscellaneous Spots around Mamallapuram

Miscellaneous Spots around Mamallapuram
Koneri Mandapam
There are two rock-out cave temples near a hillock opposite to the river Koneri. One temple has fine cells which is almost a completed architecture. The gate keepers of an impressive carriage and smooth surroundings are the only specialties. There are also two unfinished Mandapams nearly.
The age of this temple is hard to guess. While several other rock-cut temples in Mahabalipuram can be dated (roughly) by the design of details, especially columns, Koneri Mandapam is not that simple. It has two kinds of columns, each of which is attributed to its own period - simple Mahendra-style pillars and also later ornamented columns.
First four pillars and two pilasters adorn the entrance - these front columns have been designed in Mahendra style - slender, four-sided on the top and bottom and eight-sided in the middle. Further inside there are four more columns in different style - more sophisticated and well ornamented.
Temple has five cells and this is one of arguments why it could have been devoted to Shiva - because number five is closely linked to this deity. It is also possible that Vishnu followers - Vaishnavites - took over the temple in Vijayanagara period as it happened in some other temples in Mahabalipuram
There have been preserved few sculptures except for the rear wall with its five sanctuaries. Each of these sanctuaries is guarded by a pair of Dvarapalas - only one of these guards in the far left side is chiseled away in later times. Above the sanctuaries there are pairs of vyalas - some of these sculptures are not completed.
Kodikkal Mandapam
This has a rectangular shape and it lies south west of Trimurti cave. There are two maiden doors - keepers on the entrance one with a sowed and the other with a bow. The centre is bare. There is a belief that this rock - cut shrine was dedicated to goddess Durga.
Ramanuja Mandapam
Around Mahishasura Mardhini Mandapam there are some interesting Mandapams. One of them is Ramanuja Mandapam. It is on the way to the light house which is led by a narrow path. This mandapam is well finished and has three chambers in it. This was earlier dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Vaishnavas, followers of Lord Vishnu wanted to build a Vishnu Temple and so they destroyed this Ramanuja Mandapam is what said about its destruction.
Replica of Arjuna’s Penance
This is situated to the south of Krishna Mandapam. Sculptors tried to present a replica of Arjuna’s penance. This lies incomplete but gives a reflection and dedication of the Pallava artists. To the south of this replica lies a three celled rectangular mandapam known as Dharmaraja Mandapam. The sculptures in this Mandapam have been scraped off.