Ancient rock cut temples of kerala -list

Rock Cut Cave Temples in Kerala:-


Kottukkal rock cut Temple;

 Siva, Ganapathy and Hanuman, near manipuzha. from nilamel ( MC Road) to Kadackal and 8th century one.the rock cut temple is estimated to be about 700 years old. The exact age and , more importantly who made  

Kunnathurpady Cave Temple
Kunnathurpady Cave Temple 8th century one , six kms from payyavur.

Panunta Siva Temple
Panunta Siva Temple, Eruvatty 15 kms northeast of Thalassery

Irunnilamkodu Siva Temple
Irunnilamkodu Siva Temple near mulloorkaraThis is one of the rarest and the most famous cave temples in Kerala. It is situated on the Wadakancherry - Shornur route, two kilometers away on the North Western side of Mulloorkkara at Thrissur district.

Thrukkoor Mahadeva Templetrikkur mahadeva temple
Thrukkoor Mahadeva Temple a rock cut cave is more than 1500 years old. it is believed that the temple have been installed by Agni.Thrukkoor Mahadeva Temple a rock cut cave is more than 1500 years old. it is believed that the temple have been installed by Agni. important vazhipadu is thulabhara with coir, placing coir at thirunada, jala dhara, appom etc for relief from Asthma. the cave has 24 feet length, 18 feet height and 18 feet width. eight days festival in Makaram and Thiruvathira Aarattu. on the  banks of manalippuzha. ( Swamy Ranganathananda the late president of Sree Ramakrishna Madh was native of Thrukkoor. And in his childhood he used to go to this temple as his house was near this temple. ( from ollur south east of trichur town) 5 kilometers and on highway para jn 2 kilometers east.This live rock cut temple is dated to the 8th century A.D. The Sivalinga faces east and the door of the Garbhagriha is on the north. There is a Ganapathi sculpture on the eastern wall. The arrangement of dwarapalakas and other deities are slightly disturbed to suit the terrain of the rock in which the temple and the figures have been carved. The linga is in the centre, fixed on to a rectangular pedestal. There is an evergreen pond on the top of the rock. Since 1966 it is a protected monument under the Department of Archaeology.

Kallil Bhagavathy TempleKallil CaveTemple
Kallil Bhagavathy Temple southeast 5 kms of perumbavoor and 4 kms south of kuruppanpady by canalside road. a 1500 years old shrine on the hill of rock.Kallil Cave Temple, a 9th century Jain Temple is at Methala, 8 km away from Kuruppampady and 53 kms from Ernakulam (Cochin or Kochi) Kerala. Also one can reach the temple by traveling a distance of about 4 km from Odakkaly and 13 km from Perumbavoor.Kallil Temple, a 9th century Jain Temple is at Methalarock templeIt is believed that the idols seen there are ofJainatheertha Parswanathan, Mahaveer and Pathmavathi Davi. This temple Sree Kallil Bhagavathi Cave Temple Mathala is now considered as an Hindu temple

Thrukkakudy Cave Templerock cut temple thrikkakudy
Thrukkakudy Cave Temple an eight century one ( 1km north of Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple ) 6 kms northeast of Thiruvalla.It is the oldest cave temple in Kerala. It belongs to the latter half of the 8th centruy AD if not earlier as suggested by its close resemblance to later Pallava work.

Manikkallu Cave Temple
Manikkallu Cave Temple Subramanya near Chengamanad Junction

Thirunanthikkara Siva Temple:-
Thirunanthikkara Siva Temple 37 kms from thiruvananthapuram enroute to kanyakumari. centuries old mural paintings has great value in history of south indian artAccording to the legends, this rock-cut chamber was made by Jain ascetic named Veeranandi who came here from Thirunarunkondai Melappalli. This took place in 7th century AD. Cave is made in large, oblique wall of cliff and is ascended by a flight of some 60 stone-cut steps. Rock-cut temple itself is small, the facade has two columns and two pilasters. Nowadays, to prevent the vandalism, the entrance is closed behind bars.

Jains were here until circa 9th c. AD when the cave was taken over by Hindu.
In 9th - 10th c. AD cave was decorated with paintings. Hindu painters first sketched outlines and then colored powders were sprinkled.
Now only hazy outlines of once beautiful frescoes remain. Drawings are considered to represent perfect early example of typical Kerala (earlier this cave were located in Kerala) style which later has been applied in numerous temples and palaces.Scene of Samava-sarvana, Sittanavasal
At the same time drawings resemble the famous drawings in Sittanavasal Cave.( ABOVE)

Thykkad Sree Dharmasastha Temple
Thykkad Sree Dharmasastha Temple thiruvananthapuram city 1 km north east of east fort.

Mullackal Sree Bhagavathy TempleMullakkal temple festival 1
Mullackal Sree Bhagavathy Temple ( Rajarajeswary), Alleppey town, Mandalam Chirappu ( Dec 16) famous 10 days festival and Aarattu on Vijayadasami day.

Kidangamparampu Bhuvaneswary Devi Temple Kidamgamparampu Devi Temple ( Bhuvaneswary ) 1 km north of Alleppey town. 1000 years old one. Granite Sreekovil.

Thiruvenkitapuram Mahavishnu Temple
Thiruvenkitapuram Mahavishnu Temple vazhappally, changanacherry.:-

Vazhappally temple is historically important and contains some lithic records of the reign of Rajasekhara Varma Kulasekhara (820-844AD) besides some fine seventeenth century wood carvings (Daarusilpas) depicting figurines from epics. The Vattezhuttu inscription on the northern part of the base of the cultural shrine indicates that the repairs were completed in Kollam era 840 (AD 1665). It is an ancient Grama Kshethra also known as “Dakshina Kailasam”

In ancient period, this temple had 54,000 para paddy fields (Nilam). The soldiers of Chempakassery Raja killed one Unni of Changazhimuttom family of Kuttanadu who has gone there to measure the “Patta Nelu” of Devaswom at Venattukara field. He is installed as a Bhramma Rakshas in this temple. In order to satisfy the Bhrahmma Rakshas, “Kazhumaram” is being made in front of the Rakshas Shrine and the Prathiroopam of Chempakassery Raja is hanged. The Raja gave the pooja items for Pantheeradi to the temple as a mark of his repentance for killing Unni. The Raja has appointed the members of Thiruvenkitapuram Warriam as the heir of “Pantheeradi Choru”.

The idol of the vazhappally temple is centuries old and is considered as the Siva of Neelamperoor temple. The legend behind this concept is that CheraRajaPallibana Perummal, a follower of Budha, when de-throwned by the “Hindu Bhattas” following a defeat in argument ,reached Neelamperoor. The news came to the ears of the potties of pathillams (Chengazhimuttam, Kainikkara, Eravimangalam, Kunnithidasserry, Athrasserry,Kolencherry, Kizhangazhuthu, Kannancherry,Thalavana etc.),that perumal is going to install his personal idol at Neelamperoor.Pathillathil Pottimars run with the idol Shiva of Neelamperoor and installed that idol at Vazhappally.


Chakkulathukavu Sree Bhagavathi Temple
Chakkulathukavu Sree Bhagavathi Temple Neerettupuram, 10 kms west of Thiruvalla and 18 kms east of Ambalapuzha, Vrichikom - Karthika the day of famous ponkala naivedyam.

Keralapuram Viswanatha Temple
Kerala Puram Viswanatha Temple koduvayaur. palakkad to koduvayur 10 kms. Govindapuram 14 kms near the tamilnadu border
Sivanarayana Temple Thirunayathode:-sivanarayana temple thirunayathode
This strutural temple is of Vritta Vimana. Granite stone for adhistana and wall. Granite wall is coated with plaster on which murals are seen.

Edakkal Cave:-Ambukuthimala or Edakkalmala is one of the principal hills of the Wayanad District. Edakkal cave is found on its western slope. The cave contains carved figures, some inscriptions and symbols on the walls.
edakkal cave

Ezhuthupara:-Ezhuthupara at Marayoor is noted for the collection of Pre-historic cave paintings. Pictures in this megalithic art gallery are drawn in two different media consisting of reddish brown soil containing multicoloured iron minerals and white clay soil.ezhuthupara marayoor

 Kallil Rock Cut Temple:-Kallil Rock Cut Temple Location:

Village - Asamannoor, Taluk - Kunnathunadu, District - Ernakulam, Location - 4kms from Odakkali which is 15kms from Perumbavoor in the Perumbavoor-Kothamangalam road.The unique rock cut temple at Kallil near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district which may be assigned to the peiod after 800 A.D. was originally a Jain shrine. But during the period of th decline of Jainism, it got itself transformed into a Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagavathi which it still is. One of the facade of this rock shelter is carved an unfinished seated image of Mahavira, represented also on the back wall of cavern. It was declared as protected monument in 1-9-1965.

kalil rock cut temple


Kattilmadam is a monument dated to 12th-13th centuries A.D. This beautiful granite structure which is known as Kattilmadam is in dravida style with octagonal Griva and Sikhara. Its unique structure having ornated Sthambha pada, peculiar pranala, huge granite pieces used for making the wall and the roof etc. make it worthy to be protected. The government had declared it as a protected monument on 06-01-1976.


Mangala Devi Temple:-The temple complex on the top of the Magaladevi Hills facing the Cumbam Valley of Tamilnadu consists of four shrines of different sizes and orientation confined to a well defined Prakara with a fairly large sized Gopuradwara .village - Kumili, Taluk - Peerumedu, District - Idukki, Location - About 5kms from Thekkady.

mangala devi temple

mangala devi temple

Menhir:-A megalithic monument (Menhir type) in granite having 15 feet height and 12 feet 4 inches broad standing opposite Anappara on the left side of the Viyyur - Thanikudam Road.


Porkalam Dolmans:-Three dolmans already excavated by the Department. Contents including prehistoric potteries and iron implements were taken to Thrissur Archaeological Museum.

porkalam dolmans

Vattezhuthu Inscriptions:-A granite slab with Vattezhuthu inscriptions on it. Measuring 6 ft by 4.5 feet. Now in the compound of the Thazhekkad church.
vattezhuthu inscriptions

Sivanarayana Temple Thirunayathode:-This strutural temple is of Vritta Vimana. Granite stone for adhistana and wall. Granite wall is coated with plaster on which murals are seen.This strutural temple is of Vritta Vimana. Granite stone for adhistana and wall. Granite wall is coated with plaster on which murals are seen. Sandhara type. Dwarapalakas in stone work are seen on all the four sides. unified copper roofing for the whole temple, Unitary type without any subsidiary shrines. Pranala set in the Kantha and supported by a gana figure. main deity is Sivalingga in front of which is fixed the figures of Siva and Vishnu in the same 'Pitha'. the concept is not of Sankara Narayana but of Siva and Vishnu in separate entity having equal importance. The square ardhamandapa poses carvings of Navagraha on the ceiling. This temple can be datable to the 11th - 12th century AD.Considering its structural importance, it was declared as protected monument in 1996.
sivanarayana temple

Irunilakode Temple:-This is one of the few rock cut temples in Kerala with a central figure on the wall of the cell, datable to the 8th-9th centuries A.D.
village - Mulloorkara, Taluk - Talappally, District - Thrissur, Location - At Mulloorkara in Thrissur - Vadakancheri - Shornur route.

irunilakode temple

Ariyannur Temple:-This temple can be dated to 14th century A.D. The main deity Hari Kanyaka (Mohini concept) is facing East. The temple has a granite adhisthana with laterite but ornate wall.his temple can be dated to 14th century A.D. The main deity Hari Kanyaka (Mohini concept) is facing East. The temple has a granite adhisthana with laterite but ornate wall. The murals and sculptures around Garbhagriha are almost deteriorated. The temple with its walls, ruined gopurams, two stories shrine and broken idol along with its constituent portion including the two dwarapalakas and the wooden images attached to Namaskara Mandapam are declared as protected under the purview of the protected monuments Act by the Department of Archaeology in 1936.
village - Kunammoochi Aloor group mattom, Taluk - Talappally, District - Thrissur, Location - At Konnammoochi in Choondal - Guruvayoor Road.

ariyannoor temple

Bhagavathy Temple Vizhinjam:-This ancient Devi (Sapta matrukkal) temple is in a square plan representative of the Chola type. The base pillars etc are in stone. The super structure is in the shape of a dome. 
village - Kottukal, Taluk - Neyyanttinkara, District - Thiruvananthapuram, Location - About 2 kms west of Vizhinjam town.

bhagavathy temple vizhinjam

Madankavu:-Mangadu is a megalithic site situated 8 kms. north-east of Kollam town. The site is located very near to 'Madan kavu', a small traditional temple.This urn burial site is demarcated on the surface with uneven blocks of laterite with an area of approximately 10 x 10 meters. The stone blocks form three circles and are in slanting position.
Madan Kavu was excavated by the Department of Archaeology in 1991 and the findings revealed the long Iron age in kerala is datable to the begining of the first millennium B.C. Now the site is declared as protected area under the Archaeological monuments sites and remains act. 
Village - Mangad, Taluk - Kollam, District - Kollam, Location - 2.5kms north of Kilikolloor in kollam-chenkotta road.

madan kavu

Pazhoor Perumthrikkovil:-It is sandhara type temple with cardinal doors on Four sides. The plinth and the wall together are of granite stone work and the rest of timber and sheet roof in circulr vimana.Dwarapalakas are made of wood. Main deity sivalinga is facing east. Square ardhamandapa contains beautiful wooden carvings on the ceiling. Pranala is a typical ornate Keral type with standing yaksha bearing at its tip. It has some of the notable examples of old workman ship in wood, illustrating various puranic scenes and figures from Bhagavata, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The temple can be dated to 12th century AD.
Considering the structural and mural importance, the temple was declared as protected monument by the department of archaeology in 1994. 
Village - Piravam, Taluk - Muvattupuzha, District - Ernakulam, Location - About 1.5kms from Piravam town in the Piravam-Ernakulam road.
[Click on the images to enlarge]
pazhoor perumthrikkovil

Vishnu Temple Aruvikara:-Vishnu Temple at Aruvikara is of circular vimana with granite adhistana and plastered wall. The whole structure is recently renovated. 
village - Maranallur, Taluk - Neyyattinkara, District - Thiruvananthapuram, Location - About 4kms from Pongummoodu in Neyyanttinkara - Kattakada road.vishnu temple aruvikara

Manjapra Temple:-It is a temple of square Sikhara type. The roof and all parts of the Sreekovil is made of granite rock. Dwarapalakas are of granite. Ghanadwaras on three sides.The main diety is vishnu in 'varadamudra'. This figure is dated to about 9-10 century A.D. Idols of Ganapathy, Bhadrakali, Sastha, nagar are also seen here. This type of temple is very rare in Kerala.
Considering its structural importance, the department had declared it as protected monument in 1996.  
Village - Manjapra, Taluk - Aluva, District - Ernakulam, Location - 10kms from Angamali in Angamali-Kaladi road.

manjapra temple

Uliyannur Mahadeva Temple:-This structural temple is in the form of vritha vimana with granite adhisthana. A unified tiled roof for the whole temple.Sandhara type with four cardinal openings with wooden doors, square namaskara mandapa with a granite Nandi inside. Balipitha outside the Chuttambalam. Balustrades are of peculiar type. pranala is of unusual pattern with a bull head at the tip and supported by an Yakshi figure. Main deity is Sivalinga facing east. The temple is datable to 12th Century AD.
Considering the structural importance, the ancient temple was declared as protected monument by the Department of Archaeology in 1998.  
Village - Kadungallor, Taluk - North Paravoor, District - Ernakulam, Location - 2kms west of Aluva market junction in the National Highway.
uliyannur mahadeva temple

Kalpathoor Paradevatha Temple:Main deity of this temple is Kirathamoorthy facing west. The ancient temple is having granite adhistana with laterite wall. Dwarapalakas are of wood.Main deity of this temple is Kirathamoorthy facing west. The ancient temple is having granite adhistana with laterite wall. Dwarapalakas are of wood. Pranala is usual ornate type with a gana support on its tip. The Ceiling of the 'Mukhamandapa' and the 'Balikalpura' have beautiful wooden carvings. Almost dilapidated eastern padippura carries splendid carvings of miniature figures on its cealing, depicting different puranic scenes like 'Sree Rama Pattabhisekam', 'Ananthasayanam', 'Siva Parvathi Parinayam' etc. The temple can be dated to 14th century A.D. Considering the sculptural importance, the temple and 0.6 acre of land were declared as protected monument by the department of Archaeology in 1995.   
 Village - Nochad, Taluk - Quilandi, District - Kozhikode, Location - At Mamballikonam in Vadakara - Perambra Road.
kalpathoor paradevatha temple

Monolithic Monument:-Monolithic monument (Menhir type) one in standing posture having 12 feet 3 inches height and 10 feet 6 inches broad.
monolithic monument

Pilicode Cave:t is a megalithic site having an area of 3 acres 28 cents. A number of rock cut tombs encountered in this laterite zone are of archaeological value.  
village - pilicode, Taluk - Hosdurg, District - Kasargod, Location - Near the pilicode village office. On the left side of payyannoor - Nileswaram N.H
pilicode cave


Pandavanpara is a monument standing in gigantic manner, protected by a kind of granite pagoda like natural rock facing west, covers an area of about 96 cents occuring between two huge boulders on a hillock sufficiently spacious to accomodate nearly fifty people. This peculiar shelter has engravings of deep kind, unique by itself on its walls and especially the lower portion at the entrance. The engravings at the entrance are mostly floral while on the interior some human figures could be seen in the hunting posture with bow and arrow. This particular characteristic of engraving and polishing in the gate would show that this work is executed most probably by the Neolithic people. This unique monument possesses some similarity to the Edakkal cave of wayanad. The department had declared the pandavanpara with a surrounding area of 1.2590 hectres of land as protected monument in 8.9.1987. 
 Village - Perumkadavila, Taluk - Neyyattinkara, District - Thiruvananthapuram.

ROCK CUT TEMPLE AT VIZHINJAM ,NEAR TRIVANDRUM CITY:-Vizhinjam was the former capital of the Ay chieftains, who ruled the southern parts of Kerala in the 8th century A.D. These caves are so neatly decorated to contribute a lot in making Kerala a worthwhile travel destination. The granite caves encircled a one-cell temple with a movable figurine of Vinandhara Dakshnimurthi. Incomplete reprieves of the Hindu God Shiva with his wife cum dance partner Goddess Parvathi adorned on the outer wall of the cave.[Vizhinjam Temple
Vizhinjam Temple of 7 th century, 13 kms from thiruvananthapuram east fort. near the sea and the old vizhinjam Harbour.]

Rock -cut- Temple, Madavurppara -KERALA-TRIVANDRUM:-10.a)Name of Monument Rock -cut- Temple, Madavurppara
b) Features Cave Temple - Belongs to the period between 7th and 8th century.
c) Name of Village Irooppara
d) Name of Taluk Thiruvananthapuram
e) Total Area of Monument 22 acre, 80 cents
f) Owner Sy No.113/22 6.43 Hectares (1103[Mudavoorpara Rock Cut Temple
Mudavoorpara Rock Cut Temple an eighth century one siva , ganapathy murugan, near chenkottukonam.Rock cut temples are one of the main styles of kerala architecture in 7-9 century AD.]