What started off a small discussion became the seed for this post.. interestingly which should have been the first post…for what you see below is acclaimed by its creator to be the first ever such work in stone….

mahendra cave maangadapattu.JPG

Well most Indian mythological heroes are assigned some divine weapon….the bow, sword etc have their parallels across the globe, but one thing unique has been the mace…when i mean unique, not that other cultures did not have the mace, but then the depictions in ours were huge. They would give today’s Olympic weight lifting champions a complex….for their sheer size is mind boggling. Is this the imagination of later day artists…we explored and for the parallels in sculpture we go to where it all started…the mother of all caves….the foremost amoung sculptures of south India. Mahendra pallava …the self titled vichitra citha ( the many talented or weird talented)…he claims that he built a temple for the trinity without using brick, wood, metal or mortar….

maangadapattu door guardian.JPG

Just look at the door guardians….they seem to have that classic vivian richards swagger about them, almost mocking at us puny mortals….

the nonchalant graceful stance.jpg

lugging aroung those monstrous maces….( watch closely you can see a cobra circling the mace)

the mace.jpg

One bash with that is sure to knock the living daylights out of you and send you cranium into a mars orbit… for the serious enthusiast, this beauty is the Mangadapattu cave - on the vilupuram sengi main road…about 20kms from vilupuram….take a side road ( mud road) from there…you can see boards ( thank god) and its a km down the road ( if you can call it that….)

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2008 at 7:46 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Comments so far


அந்தக்காலத்தில் மஹாராஜாக்கள் அவர்கள் உபயோகித்த ஆயுதங்கள் அனைத்துமே
இப்போது பார்த்தால் அவைகளை எப்படி அவர்கள் தூக்கி அதைச் சுழற்றி போர் புறிந்தார்கள் என்று நினைத்தாலே ஆச்சரியமாக இருக்கிறது
மஹா ராஜாக்கள் காலத்திலேயே இப்படி என்றால் கடோத்கஜன் காலத்திலே அவர்கள் எப்படிப்பட்ட பலவானாக இருந்திருப்பார்கள்

கல்லும் _கதை சொல்லும்


October 23rd, 2008 at 18:37
Kathie Brobeck

I’ve been wanting to see this Dvarapalaka in
a photo taken up close. Directions on how to
find it are welcome, too. Thank you!

October 24th, 2008 at 18:15

Hi kathie,

am sending you the closeups vide sep mail, meantime the directions are mentioned towards the end of the post. sengi or gingee fort..


October 25th, 2008 at 8:14
Narasimhan Srinivasan

Nice article containing very valuable pieces of information dear VJ. May be you could make very small changes like mentioning the name of this invaluable site i.e. Maangadapattu or Maangadapettu in the title as well as text of the article. The name can be added in the text where you mention that it is around 20 kms. from Villupuram. I almost said oh, what a miss by me!!! because this year (as I told you also) I did visit the Thirukoilur temple near Villupuram where I did miss the Anantasyayi temple located close to that temple, and as I realize now, I missed this temple also. Sadly either at Villupuram station or at the Villupuram bus stand there were no indications of these places being located very close to that town.

October 29th, 2008 at 13:47

Thanks Cheenu, Have amended. Missed out while translating, thanks for pointing out


October 29th, 2008 at 15:12
Kathie B.

it’s interesting that in western art there’s
something called ‘Mannerist’ style, coming after the high Renaissance. This Door Guardian is definitely in ‘mannerist’ style — also sort of
‘cartoony’ I think. [that's not a criticism --
I love it!]

April 22nd, 2009 at 8:29

hi kathie

This time we went to Mandagapattu and is coming up next ..or rather after dhalavanur ( shatrumalleswaram). We took some delightful captures of the door guardians in mandagapattu - one particular fav was the fold on the waist ( iduppu madippu in tamil), however compared to the pillar styles which are primitive mahendra type, teh door guardians are bit advanced ( and left incomplete) that some versions say it could be a much later addition.


April 22nd, 2009 at 19:31

I like the bit abt Vivian Richards…awesome place..it was a great trip with arvind last week

July 18th, 2010 at 11:34

brother you work is awesome,and every day
there will be a pat on your back and that will be mine
this blog should be read by all students
to understand how rich our ancestor were in crafts

February 15th, 2011 at 20:58

thanks mahendran. keep visiting


February 16th, 2011 at 7:46

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