As soon as Cheenu saw this post, he remarked the close resemblance to the Tripurantaka Shiva of Vizinjam to the Mallai penance panel Shiva. The ear rings and the facial features are remarkably similar. Let see both of them side by side and try to spot the similarities.
I did this screen grab from the video of vizinjam - the scratch marks were too familiar. This must have been the way rock was scraped away to cut the caves. Yes, had seen the same in the Govardhana panel in mallai - just by the panel - behind the amazing seated bull ( to the extreme right - at an elevated height)
The styling is the same, the methods seem to be the same. So the Verdict?
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I was discussing Pallava rock cut sculpture and showing ( off) my site to a few friends over the weekend, when a friend from Trivandrum commented he had seen similar in a cave in Vizhinjam near Trivandrum. This set me off to search for that cave, and surprisingly very few information is available.
While i did manage to locate the cave and its amazing sculptures, very little information is available on the same. Some sites mention of it as a 18th C creation, while to me the style resembles pallava sculpture more ( kathie please help). Guess, i need to go back to reading more about cave sculpture in south india and when the tradition stopped. I was of the opinion that is stopped with the structural temples gaining prominence closer to Rajasimha Pallava. Anyway stylistically this looks much much ancient that whats its credited with.
Some anomalies though, instead of the standard door guardians at the entrance we see sculptures of Shiva holding a bow ( surmise as Tripuranthaka ) and Shiva with Parvathi ( in a sad state). the main deity i head is that of Vinadhari Dhakshinmurthy, which however, is not carved out of the bed rock - but is a separate sculpture.
Please have a look at the sculptures below.
Chanced on this lovely video as well.
A lovely detailed video of the cave
Picture courtesy: Mr. Hari
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