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General view of the façade of the Yamapuri or Mahishamardini Cave Temple, Mamallapuram

General view of the façade of the Yamapuri or Mahishamardini Cave Temple, Mamallapuram

Photographer: Rea, Alexander

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(2214)

Item number: 10032214

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Mahishamardini Cave Temple at Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by Alexander Rea in the 1880s. Mamallapuram, a tiny village south of Madras, was a flourishing port of the Pallava dynasty during the 7th-8th centuries. The site is famous for an early group of monolithic temples, known as the 'Pancha Ratha' and some monolithic sculptures assigned to the 7th century reign of Narasimhavarman Mahamalla (r. c.630-668). This view shows the columned fa├žade of the Mahishamardini Cave Temple, with the shrines partly visible behind and four Indian men seated on the steps leading up to the temple. The cave dates from the mid-7th century and consists of a long verandah with three shrines. Remarkable sculpture panels are carved on the side walls. These represent Vishnu sleeping on the serpent Ananta or Shesa and the goddess Durga on the lion killing the buffalo-headed demon Mahisa.

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