Vizhinjam Cave – compare with Pallava mallai

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?

4 thoughts on “Vizhinjam Cave – compare with Pallava mallai

  1. Obviously dear Vijay… As I told you the idiom is very strongly Pallava. But no credit to be taken away from the Cheras. After all along with the Pallavas, Cheras are definitely one South Indian Kingdom (Pandiyas could be 3rd) whose record of existence in the BC era is eminently VERIFIABLE. It is only since the time of Raja Raja that they went into fair oblivion (background)… though they did seem to have lasted almost up to the era of Jatavarman Sundara Pandiyan. Sorry for yapping about history… I only tried sincerely to emphasize about the rich architectural traditions of the Cheras. Surely, the Vizhinjam sculpture and the like are contemporaneous with those of the Pallavas (with whom, as I pointed out earlier the Cheras had very close relations including marital alliances and joint conquests). It is fair to attribute the sculpture to the Chera era (probably in the period 400-700 AD) with the idiom being strikingly similar to those of the Pallavas.

  2. Vijay, one more point. Just see closely or if possible get 2-3 closeups of the faces of shiva both at Mallai and Vizhinjam.

    See closely and more closely while the Kireedam (crown) of Shiva is similar, what are even more strikingly similar are the ornaments that he wears on both his ears… What is amazingly common to both Vizhinjam and Mallai if you observe, is that the left ear ring is large round… almost like a plate hanging from his left ear… while the right ear has an ornament hanging from it…

    Any comments by you and Kathie?

  3. hi cheenu

    your are right – Dr. Gift Siromoney has done extensive work on this, check out his lovely site

    The characteristic costumes and jewellery of the period are the large patra kundalas (with an average diameter of 8 angulas compared to 12 angulas’ height of the face), moderately high makutas (less than 24 angulas), thick single diagonal band across the chest for men, and absence of leg ornaments for men. For women, the breast band (when present) is broad, they wear a brief bikini-like garment (often without any other dress) and single leg ornament on each leg, and they wear no diagonal band. Both male and female figures are depicted often with a makara kundala on one ear and a patra kundala on the other


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