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Krishna Cave Temple
Krishna Cave Temple is a monument at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu.
Krishna Cave Temple – Krishna Mandapam
It is also known as Mandapa of Krishna and Krishna Mandapam, an artificial rock-cut mandapa, and one of the Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram dedicated to Lord Krishna.
It is part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, the temple is declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.
It is one of the many architecturally unique mandapas in Mahabalipuram with a petty cave portico into the rock face.
Dating to the mid-seventh century, its excavated entry is seen with columns leading to a hall. Remarkable carvings inside are sculpted panels that bring out the saga of Krishna lifting the Govardhana Hill to guard the cowherds and milk maids from heavy rains and floods – the “most poetic and endearing” Indian or Angkor sculpture-based representation of this legend.
The rock-cut cave is simple in design and layout, with minimum decorations. It is one of the ten caves cut out from rock faces and one of the oldest in Mahabalipuram.
In crafting the cave, the sculptors worked on the rock face to make an outline and polished the rock face to describe the outline of a façade. This was followed by the cutting of columns in the polished surface and creating square panels on which frescoes on religious themes of the Hindu pantheon were carved.
The depth was dictated by the number of chambers to be excavated through the rock. The carving of images was then started after polishing the walls and the columns
The cave has nine reliefs carved on the rock surfaces, all dated to the 7th century but further refurbished with additions made in the 16th century.
The carvings in the Krishna cave are reported to be very realistic reinterpretations of Hindu mythological themes.