East view of Yamapuram [Mahishamardini] cave temple, Mahabalipuram, Chingleput District.
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Mahishamardini cave temple at Mahabalipuram, Chingleput District, taken by a photographer of the Archaeological Survey of India around 1900-01. Directly abve there is the Olakkanatha Temple on the summit of the hill. Behind this temple can be seen the top of a modern structure (a lighthouse?). Mahabalipuram, on the coast of India south of Madras, is known for its early group of temples and monolithic sculptures from the time of the Pallava dynasty in the 7-8th cenuries AD, when the site was the port for their inland capital at Kanchipuram. The Mahishamardini cave dates from the mid-7th century. It has a columned verandah with three shrines. Inside the verandah there are two large sculpture panels on the side walls, considered among the masterpieces of Pallava art. The left one depicts Vishnu sleeping on the serpent surrounded by the gods and the one on the left represents Durga killing the buffalo-headed demon.