Mandagapattu (Villupuram - Tamil Nadu)

After my buddies managed to pull me out of Dhalavanur's awesomeness, out next destination was Mandagapattu
Mandagapattu is very very special. This is the first ever rock cut cave temple in Tamil Nadu by Mahendra Varma Pallava I. 
There is just 1 inscription here in Sanskirt Grantha script. The inscription calls Mahedra Varma is Vichithrachithan. The inscription also informs that this temple called Lakshithayathan, was built or rather, excavated by him with for Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Siva out of stone instead of brick, wood, metal or mortar.
The rock cut cave structure has 2 pillars in the front to hold it. On either sides are 2 dwarapalas. 
As I said in my earlier post here as well the dwarapalas are softer than the later era - without vampire teeth, without 4 hands, not gory looking. However there seems to be some problem in the anatomy, esp. at shoulders' angle which is not seen in the later eras. The inner wall is divided into 3 sections. The 3 sections are meant for Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, but there are no reliefs or sculptures in. Its believed that the 3 images may have been painted as fresco which may have got erased in course of time. 
As we landed there on our car we were mobbed by a bunch of school kids, who tugged along to the caves. 
And I managed to explain them the greatness of the rock cut caves in their locality and they did seem interested!!! 
And they posed for a photograph with me and one of those little ones ran back home, changed her uniform to a good outfit and ran back for another photograph!!! That's innocence and love, isn't it???
Just in front of the rock cut caves is a huuuuuge water body... Coming back with more on 'Mahendra Trail'.

From Gingee: 18 km on towards Villupuram.
At 17 km from Gingee, a road to the left with an arch and board that says 'Route to Pallava Rock Cut temple' can be seen. A km into this road, and you can spot a hillock to the left with the blue ASI board. That's our location. 
On Google Maps:

Picture Courtesy: First pic and the third last pic belong to Gopu
Dedicated to Prof. Sivaramakrishnan, Gopu, Siva, Siddharth. 


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. Ms. Discoverer, you keep amazing me every time with all these untrodden places. Nice work Bhusha.

    1. Ha ha! Thanks for that title Niranjan!!! :) :) :)

  2. Thanks for sharing , Its the first cave temple in south India .

  3. I belong to Neyveli. But never heard of this place. Thanks for sharing friend. next time i will try to visit this place.

    1. Do visit. Its located in the middle of fields and its so beautiful.
      You'll definitely love this place!!!

  4. good post and photos also good


    some photos are resemblance of my chitharal journey near kanyakumari

  5. Nice Blog.... Good Discoverer.... Best Photography.... Keep it up...

    1. Thank you so much Saravanakumar! Guess this is your first visit to my blog. Welcome. Do visit often! :)


Thanks for visiting...! Why not leave a comment.? And tell your friends..!!!
By commenting you accept to our GDPR Policy.