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Back to Those Times: Panchapandava Cave Temple in Mahabalipuram

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Published: Tuesday, January 3, 2017, 17:00 [IST]
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Mahabalipuram is known for its architectural heritage. It is indeed a wonder to see such intricate sculptures and rock-cut structures in this coastal town. Among several monuments, the Panchapandava Cave Temple in Mahabalipuram has stood the test of times.

The Panchapandava Cave is a part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram. Interestingly, it is named after the Pancha - Pandavas (five Pandavas) of the epic Mahabaratha.

Panchapandava Cave Temple in Mahabalipur

Panchapandava Cave
PC: Sivanjali Sivaptham

Architecture of Panchapandava Cave Temple

The Panchapandava Cave Temple is simple and elegant. It is a rectangular structure which is carved out of the rocks and supported by the pillars. The facade of the cave consists of stone-pillars with lion caryatid (carved lions on the pillars). It looks like these lions-sculptures are supporting the pillars. However, they definitely give a royal look to the cave temple. Though it looks very simple, this cave seems to be the improvised version when compared to few other monuments in the group. Intricate carvings on the walls of the cave, pillars with griffins, small verandah, rock-cut chambers look like perfect and symmetrical.

Panchapandava Cave Temple in Mahabalipur

Open bas-relief next to the cave
PC: Manishmjoshi


History of Panchapandava Cave Temple

According to the research, all the features of this cave temple resembles the 7th century Pallava architecture. It is said that Panchapandava Cave Temple may have been constructed during the time of the King Narasimhavarman I to Narasimhavarman II. Owing to its unique features, the Panchapandava Cave Temple is also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram.

Interesting Facts about Shore Temple 

Location of Panchapandava Cave Temple

The Panchapandava Cave Temple is situated on a hill along with a few other monuments in Mahabalipuram. This cave is near to the bas-relief of Arjuna's Penance. It is located on the Coromandal Coast in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu.The Panchapandava Cave Temple is one of the must visit tourist places in Mahabalipuram.

What is this 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'?

Panchapandava Cave Temple in Mahabalipur

Facade of Panchapandava Cave
PC: Gautamoncloud9

This group consists of several monumental structures belonging to Pallava period in Mahabalipuram. The heritage structures under this group include the Shore Temple, the Descent of the Ganges, the Pancha Rathas, Varaha Cave Temple, Krishna Mandapam, Panchapandava Cave Temple and Mahishasuramardini Mandapam are the archeaological remanants under the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram.

How to Reach Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai. It is situated at a distance of 60km from Chennai.

Click - How to Reach Mahabalipuram

The Panchapandava Cave Temple is one of the beautiful constructions of those times. Don't miss out on exploring this elegant cave structure.

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