Around 15 km from Kanchipuram stands the rock-cut cave temple of Mamandur on the banks of River Palar. Built during the early years of the Pallava rule, the cave temple has been declared by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance. 

The temple’s main attraction is an inscription in the Tamil Brahmi script. Brahmi is the earliest Indian alphabetical script and has several regional variations, one of which is Tamil Brahmi. The inscription is said to have been laid down sometime between 300 BC and 300 CE. 

The caves of the temple, another point of interest here, were commissioned by Pallava king Mahendravarman I. There are four cave temples cut into the hills in the area, two of which lie in Mamandur, and the others in the neighbouring village of Narasapalaiyam. 

The first cave temple is reached via a stone staircase, and the façade comprises pillars built in the Mahendravarman style of architecture. The second cave temple has an ardha mandapa and a mukha mandapa, and is dedicated to Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The third and the largest temple is only partially complete, with five empty shrines right at the back. The fourth and the smallest cave temple is also incomplete, and has two pillars and two pilasters supporting the roof.

Other Attractions In Kanchipuram