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The Archaic Remnants of Tamil Nadu

By Akshatha

Tamil Nadu is blessed with various natural heritage as well as historical heritage. A popular tourist destination in India which has many things to explore.

There are various places to visit in Tamil Nadu which has the influences of Jainism, Buddhism, Saivism (some places), etc. in the past.

Various monuments like cave temples, rock paintings, ancient temples come under the archaeological sites in Tamil Nadu.

A tour around these monuments takes you back to the bygone era!

Subrahmanya Temple

Subrahmanya Temple

The Subrahmanya Temple is a shrine in Saluvankuppam, dedicated to god Murugan. This temple which was excavated in 2005, has a two layered shrine.

The first layer is a brick temple built during Sangam period (3rd BC - 3rd AD) and on top of it, is the Pallava temple built in granite dates back to 8th C.

The temple was found, through the incriptions, which got exposed due to Tsunami in 2004. This temple is considered Tamil Nadu's oldest Murugan shrine.

Artefacts like shivalinga, terracotta Nandi (bull), head of a woman, terracotta lamps have also been found in the site.

Photo Courtesy: Jopazhani

Descent of Ganges

Descent of Ganges

Descent of Ganges is one of the Group of Monuments and a UNESCO World Heritage Site at Mahabalipuram.

The story of the descent of river Ganges to earth has been depicted in this bas-relief (canvas of a stone or wood). This monument is very unique because it is a monolithic rock open air relief.

Mahabalipuram being a popular tourist place in Tamil Nadu has many such monuments.

Photo Courtesy: Nireekshit

Jambai Malai

Jambai Malai

Jambai is a small village in Villupuram and it has a heritage of more than 1000 years old. The village gets its name from the Jambunatheshwara temple belonging to the Chola period.

Jambai has been influenced by various religions: Jainism, Buddhism, Shaivism, Shaktism (belief in Divine Mother).

Jambaimalai is another major tourist attraction; a small hillock containing a cavern called Dasimadam. Inside the cave, Tamil Brahmi inscriptions are found which belongs to 1 B.C.

On the other side of the hillock, there are many other Tamil inscriptions of 10th C. Jambai Village is one of the prominent archaeological sites in Tamil Nadu.

Photo Courtesy: Tnexplore

Kilvalai Rock Paintings

Kilvalai Rock Paintings

Kilvalai, a hamlet in Villuppuram it known for the anciend rock paintings. Kilvalai rock paintings belongs to 1000 B.C.

The paintings are on three rocky areas and among them 2 are not clear. The third site contains many paintings which are clear and the site is called 'Ratha Kudaikkal'.

The paintings of a man riding a horse and men's faces resembling a bird are seen here.

There are also paintings of graffiti consisting of triangles, addition marks etc which are similar to the graffiti found in Indus Valley Civilization.

Photo Courtesy: Tnexplore

Panchapandavar Malai

Panchapandavar Malai

Keelavalavu is a village situated in Madhurai district. This place is known for Panchapandavar Malai, a hillock which contains Jain sculptures and stone beds.

The caves in the hillock were converted to a residence by Jain monks during an ancient era.

The caves have nine sculptures and a few inscriptions. The ASI, has declared it as a national monument.

Located in a popular tourist destination of Madhurai, Panchapandavar Malai is one of the tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu.

Photo Courtesy: Priasai

Shore Temple

Shore Temple

The Shore Temple is situated in Mahabalipuram and is a World Heritage Site. It is called Shore Temple because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal.

It was built during the reign of Narasimhavarman II of Pallava dynasty (700 - 728 AD).

There are 3 temples in the complex and initially was considered as part of Seven Pagodas.

Shore Temple along with other heritage sites in Mahabalipuram is worth a visit.

Photo Courtesy: Sakthibalan



Mamadur, a village in Thiruvannamalai is known for the rock-cut cave temple. These cave temples belong to the 7th century.

The inscriptions inside the cave indicate to the name as 'Saiva Rudravalisvaram Cave'. The caves on the banks of the river Palar, is considered as a monument by ASI.

Photo Courtesy: Raamanp

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