1 / 10

Travel Great East Coast Road Drive Mamallapuram Tiger Cave

A view of the monument known as Tiger Cave, the structure is actually a porch from which the king gave public audiences.

No tiger, but what a cave!

12 August 2013

The somewhat fantastically named Tiger's Cave reflects both a great lack of imagination and lazy historical assumptions on the part of those who committed the act. Deed done, the name stands. Mercifully, so does the monument.

Just 4 km before Mamallapuram on the East Coast Road are these structures of spellbinding beauty, standing in an ocean of green manicured lawns and beach casuarina trees. Large boulders, uncarved, rise near it, and these too have been protected within the enclosure, entry into which is by a rather amusing turnstile, which snags and creaks as it traps visitors of more than average girth.

Once inside, the 'Cave' is hard to miss. A survivor from the age of the Pallava dynasty that ruled the region between the 2nd and 9th centuries, this fine, rock-cut structure has fine carvings that have softened with weathering. The scripts on the walls praise the Pallava king Parameshwara.

There are several inscriptions and two nearly complete monuments of note within this complex of boulders and excavated ruins - the Atiranachanda Mandapa and the Yali Mandapa. The latter, with its carvings resembling feline features, was accorded the name Tiger's Cave.

Also read: Looking inside the Tiger's Cave

PHOTOS: AZHAR MOHAMED ALI
TEXT: BIJOY VENUGOPAL

What to read next

Samples that are "Free" as in "Free"

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary. It's simple.

Mortgage rates fall to new low- 3.11% APR

$250,000 for $972/month. No points. Get multiple mortgage offers in minutes. Can't hurt to look. It's free. (3.11% APR 5/1 ARM).

Get This Once-In-A-Lifetime Deal Before It's Gone!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

The Amex Platinum Card®

40,000 Points Offer & Transform Your Travel Experience. Apply Now!

Walden University - PhD in Psychology

Earn your PhD in Psychology and make a positive impact within your community, organization, and profession. Request free information!

Navy Seal Flashlight Should Be Banned From Public?

Controversial classified military technology has just been released to the public. Get this flashlight before it's banned or runs out -limited supply!