Kudavarai Sivan Temple (Arittapatti)
Kalinjamalai Hill, Arittapatti Village, Madurai, India
ROCK-CUT SIVAN KOIL– ARITTAPATTI
Arittapatti, also known as Kalinjamalai and Thiruppinaiyanmalai is a hill village located at 7 kms West of Melur and 12 kms East of Azhagar hill Azhagar koil – Melur route. It is famous for an ancient Shiva cave temple. On the eastern face of the hill is a cavern with a drip-ledge cut into the outer face of the rock. On the brow of the cave is found a Bramhi inscription which has been dated to between the second and first century B.C.
This Siva temple is a fine example of the early Pandya rock-cut temple architecture. This simple but beautiful edifice, which belongs to the 7th – 8th century CE, has a garbhagriha and a front mandapa . Now the local people call this temple as Idaichchi mandapam . The Siva linga of this temple has been chiseled in the centre of the same rock. The bas-relief sculptures of the Vinayaka and Siva as Lagulisa adorn the two niches of the exterior wall of the front Mandapa. This is one among the rare Lagulisa sculptures found in Tamil Nadu.
Location: 20 km from Madurai enroute Melur.