வராஹ குகைக் கோயில்( Varaha Cave Temple )
Varaha Cave Temple (i.e., Varaha Mandapa or the Adivaraha Cave) is a rock-cut cave temple located at Mamallapuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Kancheepuram District in Tamil Nadu, India. It is part of the hill top village, which is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to the north of the main Mahabalipurm sites of rathas and the Shore Temple. It is an example of Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century. The temple is one of the finest testimonial to the ancient Hindu rock-cut cave architecture, out of many such caves also called mandapas. Part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as inscribed in 1984 under criteria i, ii, iii and iv. The most prominent sculpture in the cave is that of the Hindu god Vishnu in the incarnated form of a Varaha or boar lifting Bhudevi, the mother earth goddess from the sea. Also carved are many mythical figures.
The cave reflects a transitional style of architecture in its columns mounted on seated lions and frescoes carved on the walls inside the cave which evolved during the rule of Pallava kings Mahendra Varman I and Rajasimha or Narasimhavarman I known as Mamalla. This style was continued by Mamalla's son Parameshvaravarman I. Historical research has also confirmed that Mahabalipuram town came to be established only after it was named after Mamalla and the caves and rathas are all attributed to his reign during the year 650 AD. It is the earliest known monument in Mahabalipuram though not the most visited due its hidden location. The distinctive feature of the Pallava style is that the frontage of the cave has, without exception, finely carved columns mounted on lions in a sitting posture. The structure is part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1984.
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