Malayadikuruchi Cave Temples (Tirunelveli - Tamil Nadu)

When we went looking for this place, we couldn't find it. What we found was little village primary school. Behind it was a little concrete building which we assumed, was a part of the school. 

However a couple of us, went to it, to check it and it turned out to be the cave temple we were looking for. This was much much simpler, much more basic than the earlier 2. 
This temple was probably built in 637 CE. Quite unusually this temple was in worship. There are 2 shrines, one for Lord Shiva and one was His Consort and was called Mahadevaswami Koil.

There is a space for the Dwarapalas. However now, there are just traces of their existance. Also on the left, after the dwarapala, there's traces of a sculpture, that mostly looks like Indra on an elephant or Lord Muruga as warrior on elephant . There is a similar sculpture on the other side, which I have no clue what it is.
The things that are intact here are the beautiful medallions on the pillars the fluted cornices atop the pillars.
Some medallions had a human figure in them, some had animals or mythical creatures and some were pure decorative. The pillars were very basic, simple and plain. 

Some of the slabs there, had inscriptions on them. However this temple, has been dismantled and assembled once again, so the inscriptions are discontinuous. Some are even inverted. However this had happened atleast 40 years ago, coz when I spoke to a few locals, they do not remember this temple being dismantled and assembled in their life time.
Atop the entrance of sanctum sanctorum are makara thoranam. On it on either sides and in centre of it are 3 sculptures. The centre was a cute little Gaja Lakshmi.

From Thirunelveli: 70km via Thirumalapuram, Sankarankoil 

Dedicated to Prof.Swaminathan & co...


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. Good to read... What are other nearby places one can club if they are visiting Thirunelveli?

  2. Captivating green hill and splendid pics of the cave temple !

  3. Nice to know about this wonderful temple.

  4. Dear Bhushavali…
    You are a real treasure hunter! Temples this old and worth- acclaim are sometimes lost in the camouflage of modern contemporary structures. To open your site and read about some rare but existing beauties yet to be discovered, is such a joy! Keep doing this wonderful job.

  5. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments!


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