East view of rock-cut ratha [Vattuvan Kovil] on the hill, Kallugumalai, Tinnevelly District
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the rock-cut temple Vattuvan Kovil at Kallugumalai, in the Tinnevelly District of Tamil Nadu, taken by a photographer of the Archaeological Survey of India around 1900-01. Vattuvan Kovil is a monolithic temple which was excavated in a granite rock during the early Pandya period in the 8th-9th century. The temple was left unfinished and only the pyramidal tower with the octagonal dome, seen in the view, was completed. Fine sculptures decorate the tower; these consist of a frieze of ghanas, small mythical figures, beneath the eaves, the sacred bulls, Nandis, seated at the corners, images of Hindu gods and arches with elaborate foliage and jewelled garlands.