Places of interest in Tamilnadu


Trip to Mahabalipuram on December 5, 2007
Dharmaraja Mandapam
It is officially known as the Atyantakama mandapam. The simple structure of this cave mandapam indicates that it could be one of the early cave excavations. Past the mahamandapam, there are two full Mahendra type pillars (with square base & octagonal centre) and two pilasters (half pillars) with a plain kapota. Beyond this is the ardha mandapam. There are three garbagrihams (cells) for three deities, though now all the cells are empty. The two dwarapalakas outside the main cell have been chiselled out. We now see only the mark.

There is an inscription in Pallava Grantham, that states that the shrine was built by Atyantakama, which is the title of a king. As such it is impossible to determine who was responsible for this construction.

Behind this cave temple we can spot the Olakaneswara temple, a structural temple above the Mahishasuramardhini cave.


The slokam & its meaning as given by Mr.Nagaswamy (Given to me by Mr.Swaminathan)
sambhasthitisamhAraNam vitakAraNaH |
bhUyAdatyantakAmAya jagatAm kAmamarddanaH ||
May (Siva) the destroyer of Love, who is the cause of production, existence and destruction (but is himself) without cause, fulfil the boundless desires of men!

AmAyazcitramAyOsAvaguNO guNabhAjanaH |
svasthO niruttarO jIyAdanizaH paramEzvaraH ||
May he (Siva) be victorious, who is without illusion and possessed of manifold illusion, who is without qualities and endowed with qualities, who is existing by himself and is without superior, who is without lord and the highest lord!

yayAGguSThabharAkrAntaH kailAsaH sadazAnanaH |
pAtAlamaganmUrdUghnA zrInidhistambhibhartyamjam ||
Srinidhi bears on his head the unborn (Siva), by the weight of whose great toe Kailasa together with the ten faced (Ravana) sank down into Patala.

bhaktiprahvENa manasA bhavam bhUSaNalIlayA |
dOSNA ca yO bhuvO bhAram jIyAtsa zrIbharazciram ||
May Sribhara be victorious for a long time, who bears Bhava (Siva) in his mind which is filled with devotion, and bears the earth on his arm like a conquettish embellishment!

atyantakAmO nRpatirnnirjitArAtimaNDalaH |
khyAtO raNajayaH zambhOstEnEdam vEzmakAritam ||
King Atyantakama, who has subdued the territories of his foes, is famed (by the name of) Ranajaya: he caused to be made this house of Sambhu (Siva)

jJAH sthANurnniSkalaH sOmaH pAvakAtma vijayadvapuH |
bhImaH zivO vijayatAm zaGkaraH kAmasUdanaH ||
May he be victorious, who is both sentient and motionless (Sthanu), who is both undivided and the moon, who is both fire and air, who is both terrible (Bhima) and kind (Siva), who is both the cause of prosperity (Samkara and the destroyer of Love!

rAjarAjO na virasazcakrabhRnnajanArddanaH |
tArakAdhipatiH svasthO jayatAttaruNAGkuraH |
May Tarunankura be victorious, who is a king of kings, but is not ugly (like Kuvera) who is am emperor, but does not distress people (while Vishnu as both Chakrabhrit and Janardana) who is the lord of protectors, but healthy (while the moon is the lord of stars, but is subject to eclipses)!

zrImatOtyantakAmasya dviSadda rpApahariNaH ?
zrInidhEH kAmarAgasya harArAdhanasamginaH ||
abhiSEkajalApUrNE citraratnAmbujAkarE |
AstE vizAlE sumukhaH ZiraH sarasi ZaGkaraH ||
(8 and 9) Just as in a large lake filled with water which is fit for bathing, and covered with various lotus-flowers, handsome Samkara (Siva) abides on the large head sprinkled with the water of coronation and covered with bright jewels====of the illustrious Atyanatakama who deprives his enemies of their pride, who is a receptacle of wealth, who possesses the charm of Cupid, and who assiduously worships Hara (Siva.)

tEnEdaGkAritantuGgandhUrjjaTErmmandiragRham |
prajAnAmiSTasiddhyarttham zaGkarIm bhUtimicchatA ||
He, desiring to attain the glory of Samkara (Siva), caused to be made this lofty dwelling of Dhurjati (Siva) in order to procure the fulfilment of their desires to his subjects.

dhiktESAnDhiktESAmpunarapi dhigdhigdhigastu dhiktESAm |
yESAnn vasati hRdayE kupathagativimOkSakO rudraH ||
Six times cursed be those, in whose hearts does not dwell Rudra (Siva), the deliverer from the walking on the evil path! The temple of Atyantakama Pallavesvara.

atyantakAmapallavEzvaragRha[m] ||

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