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Tue, 21/02/2017 - 10:13
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The Tiger Cave Temple (also known as Yali) is dated to the early 8th century. It is a shallow cave but is unusual and unique when compared to the other caves here. The entrance to the cave faces south-east. It is close to the Atiranachanda Mandapa and located at Saluvankuppam village, 4 kilometres to the north of Mamallapuram. This is a refined cave which is carved about 6 feet above the ground level and has a pavilion which is closed on three sides. The front cavern is 6 feet in height and has a width of 4 feet. Approach to the cavity is a series of steps, and the protection parapets on either side of the staircase are decorated with lions. The two niches on either side of central cavity do not have any carvings. It has been carved out of a boulder with a portico which has sculpted garland of eleven yali heads, mythical animals in the shape of tigers. The main carving here is that of Durga riding a tiger. It is also inferred that this cave may have been used for holding open-air shows or as utsava mantapa for the festival of Indra. The lion pilasters carved at the corners of this cavity also show a female riding a ferocious looking lion, which is reported as the first of its kind in Mahabalipuram caves, and hence credited to the Pallava King Rajasimha; there is also a carving of its creator Rajasimha

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