Front of the temple is adorned with six columns covered with stone slabs. It encloses a quadrangular forecourt (ardha mandapam) without roof – possibly it existed in earlier times. Rock cut temple itself has three cells. The largest one in the middle is staked off with two columns and two pilasters – all adorned with horned lions (vyalas) typical for mandapams in Mahabalipuram.
Interesting features near the temple are steps cut in stone and leading up to the top of rock.
Initially temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva and was one of the most exquisite temples in Mahabalipuram.
Later though followers of Lord Vishnu – Vaishnavas – destroyed relics and established Vishnu temple here during the times of Vijayanagara Empire. In the process, the beautiful sculptures were chiseled away – but new values were not installed.
Floor between two pillars contains an inscription – ironically it says approximately the following: "Six times cursed be those in whose hearts does not dwell Rudra (Siva), the deliverer from the walking off on the evil path." – it is not known why Vaishnavas did not erase this inscription.
- Ramanuja Mandapam, Tamil Heritage. Accessed on April 16, 2010.
- Trip to Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram: Chapter 8: Ramanuja Mandapam, AdmirableIndia.com. Accessed on April 16, 2010.
Ramanuja Mandapam on the map
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|Location, GPS coordinates:||12.6166 N 80.1918 E|
|Categories:||Hindu shrines, Rock cut temples and monasteries|
|Values:||Art, Architecture, History, Archaeology|
|Where is located?||Asia, India, Tamil Nadu, south of Chennai, Kanchipuram district, Mahabalipuram town, "hillock" near the centre, between Arjuna’s Penance and lighthouse|
|Age:||640 – 674 AD|
|UNESCO World Heritage status:||Part of "Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram", 1984, No.249|
Video of Ramanuja Mandapam
indiavideodotorg, March 2012
India is seventh largest country of world by area, and, naturally such a large area contains huge amount of exciting attractions…
Wondermondo considers that India is the second richest centre of architectural heritage in the world after Europe and maybe no single country of the world can match it in this respect.
The huge temples of Tamil Nadu are justifiably famous. Through history and forty-four original photographs, this book explains how the temples came to be and what their statuary symbolizes. The book also paints a picture of what life was like in the civilizations that built them.
Built in 700 CE by the famous Pallava king Rajasimha, Mahabalipuram is a unique monument where art form combines with religion and legends. Also known as Mamallapuram, it showcases the best of Tamil art and architecture. The beauty of the monument is further enhanced by its location on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, the latter significantly influencing the creations. Part of the prestigious Monumental Legacy series, this book presents a graphic account of the site and its monuments-mandapas (cave temples), rathas (chariots), open air bas-reliefs, and structural temples.