Kottukkal Cave Temple

I haven't heard of this place before my wife told about it

I haven't heard of this place before my wife told about it. She casually mentioned about this cave temple, after going through my cave architecture photographs shot at Maharastra. She said very close to her parental home there is a temple scooped out of a massive boulder located at the corner of a sprawling paddy filed. A promise to take me there followed.

And it took another 2 years for her to take me there - though we passed by it numerous times while at my in-laws house. And mind you, it was just 15 minutes walk from the house.

When I saw it for the first time I was awestruck. Not because of its size, but its very resemblance of style, compared to the much famous and massive caves on the Vindhya mountain range alone the Maharastra coast.

In size, this one is very small; the ones in the Vindhyas are of cathedral proportions, while the one near our home is a tiny shrine. Still it is a wonder thing. Another major difference is the type of rock. The caves on the Vindhya ranges are

This part of the country is not known for rock cut architecture. I wonder how and who made it? On the stylistic ground it could have been done anywhere between 7 and 12th century. Being so close to the western ghats, this area was most probably a dense forest those days.

So, having no trace of recorded history, I tend believe in the popular folklore. Of course there are ample of mythical themes connecting this region, which is a lot imaginative than realistic. The folklore talks about an ascetic who lived there, meditating.

Any ways this is a protected monument under the state archeology department.

Now she pulled up a photograph from somewhere - this time it is of a ruined temple . For me this too look unusual for the vernacular architecture found in this part of the country.

On the way to Kottukal

On the way to Kottukal, a short detour from the MC road, near Ayoor.

Rock Cut Temple

Shrines carved out of the boulder.

View from the Village

The rocky outcrop is in the midst of a sprawling rice paddy field.

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