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Sittanavasal caves

Date: 26 September 2019 Tags: Paintings

Issue

With its prehistoric and proto-historic significance, this rock-cut cave temple in Pudukottai is an architectural wonder from a bygone era

 

Background

 the Sittannavasal rock-cut cave temple, with its beautiful frescoes, sculptures of Jain Theerthangaras and stone beds atop a hillock, is believed to be an ancient abode for Jains when Jainism flourished in the region till the 10th century A.D. 

 

Details

  • The monument is a rock-cut monastery or temple. Created by Jains, it is called the Arivar Koil, and is a rock cut cave temple of the Arihants.

  • It contains remnants of notable frescoes from the 7th century. The murals have been painted with vegetable and mineral dyes in black, green, yellow, orange, blue, and white. Paintings have been created by applying colours over a thin wet surface of lime plaster.

  • the Temple-cave was initially dated to Pallava King Mahendravarman I  prior to his conversion from Jainism to Hinduism .

  • The themes of painting depicts beautiful lotus pond with lotus flowers, people collecting lotuses from the pond, two dancing figures, lilies, fish, geese, buffaloes and elephants.

  • The pigmentation used for the paintings is over 1000 years old. Echo effect is clearly heard, if "om" is recited, only if inaudibly, in the small shrine

Fresco Paintings

Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.

Famous fresco paintings include Ajanta caves, sittanavasal, Badami caves etc.