Photo Credit : travel blog
Trimurti Cave Temple is a 7th century ancient rock-cut temple, which is built on a 100 ft high cliff, located towards the north of Ganesha Ratha.
The Trimurti Cave Temple has separate sections in a sequenced devoted to each of the Hindu trinity gods of Brahma-the creator, Vishnu-the preserver and Shiva-the destroyer.
The three shrines are cut out from the rock-face. Each shrine is flanked by pilasters with guardian figures. On the back wall of the cave, individual carvings of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva attend by devotees are engraved.
The temple features carvings of Shivalingam and Lord Brahma in the first two cells. Goddess Durga trampling Mahishasura’s, the buffalo-headed demon, head is engraved in the third cell.
A rock-cut zoo has been constructed very close to the temple, and this zoo has sculptures of elephant and other animals.
Trimurti Cave Temple is a good example for Pallave architecture. Although it is a well known monument, it is not regularly visited by all the tourists.
It is positioned a little away from the Krishna’s butter ball. This cave temple is different from the other cave temples of Mamallapuram; it doesn’t have pillared mandapa.
It straight away has the three shrines. The middle shrine has prominence and it is devoted to Lord Shiva. All the three shrines have deities. All the shrines have two dwarf ganas and two devotees at the feet of main deities.
Similarly, all the shrines have dwarapalaks at the entrance. The shape of dwarapalaks, devotees and ganas in each shrine is different depending upon the main deity.
There is an independent alcove where the Goddess Durga in the form of Mahisasuramadini with eight hands is unearthed. She is standing on the head of buffalo – demon Mahisa.
The back side of Trimurti cave has a beautiful bas relief panel where two elephants and their cubs along with a monkey and peacock are found.
Trimurti cave temple is certainly an extraordinarily great Pallava era monument.