Photo Credit : britannica
Mahishasuramardini Cave, Cave Temple also known as Yampuri is an example of Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century, of the Pallava dynasty.
Mahishasuramardini Cave – Mahishasuramardhini Mandapa
It is a rock-cut cave temple located on a hill, near a lighthouse, along with other caves in Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram. It is the one of the premium testimonials of prehistoric Vishwakarma Sthapathis.
The temple is part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1984.
This Cave Temple has many appealing architectural type of which three delicately engraved reliefs on the cave walls of three sanctums are outstanding.
One is of Vishnu reclining on the seven hooded serpent, Adisesha, another of Durga, the major deity of the cave temple slaying the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura, and the third sanctum also has a sculpture of Vishnu.
The cave also illustrates many scenes from the Hindu. The cave shrine faces east and has three chambers. Its internal dimensions are 32 feet in length, 15 feet in width, and 12.5 feet in height. There is front projection of the main central chamber when compared to the two chambers which border it.
In the front façade of the cave are 10 horseshoe-shaped windows. The cornice also shows carvings of five gable-roofed semi-complete shrines.
The façade has four carved pillars and two pilasters at the ends, which are part of the façade and are carved in the traditional Pallava architectural style.
The central chamber is fronted by a small Mukha Mandapa which has two carved pillars with lion bases in the Pallava style.
The Mandapa is one of the most significant caves in Mahabalipuram. It is devoted to the goddess Mahishasuramardini, who is considered as an incarnation of the Goddess Durga.