Trikkukkudi Cave Temple

Located about 5 km east of Thiruvalla on the banks of the river Manimala. An ancient rock cut temple is located there, carved on a huge rock and the carved rooms and sculptures aore well preserved. The Kaviyoor Trikkukkudi Cave Temple, also known as the Rock Cut Cave Temple (kakkudy= kalkudy which means rock temple in malayalam), is of historical importance and is preserved as a monument by the Archaeological Department. It bears close resemblance to the Pallava style of architecture and has prompted historians to date it to a period as early as the 18th century AD. It was constructed during the rule of the Pallava dynasty who reigned over South India from 608 to 850 AD. Kaviyoor is famous for its temples.The engravings here are among the earliest specimens of stone sculptures in Kerala.The temple has a verandah with a sculpture of Lord Ganapathi carved into the wall and inner sanctum containing a tall shivalinga, all carved out a one huge rock. Enshrined in a square cave is the main deity of the shrine Lord Siva represented in the ' Sivalinga ' which is about three feet high and carved out of rock. The shrine also has idols of Ganapathy, Maharshi and Dwarapalakas.According to legend, the ghosts of Lord Shiva constructed the cave temple.
The cave is 18ft * 8ft and 8 and half ft high. There are two pillars and pilasters and they measure 8" * 8". The pillars are of the usual cave type with the bottom and top portions as cubes and the central an octagonal shaft.
There is no capital as such and it is surmounted by the usual corbel with horizontal roll ornament. The central shrine is a square cell. The cell is plain and devoid of all ornamentation with a cylindrical linga slipped on to the socket of the simple rectangular "yoni" pedestal. The door jambs appear to be later additions. The rectangular hall in front of the sanctum has two dwarapalakas, one on each side of the doorway.
The niches are flanked by pilasters supporting double brackets at their tops contiguous to the ceiling. The dwarapalakas in the niche to the left of the entrance is leaning aggressively on a club entwined by a cobra. His head dress is comical - Karantamakuta and beneath his locks fall in picturesquely on the shoulders. All the ornaments like necklaces, udarabanda, Keyuras, kankans are worn by him.

The dwarapalaka on the other niche strikes a different pose. He has his hands crossed on his breast and head slightly bent in a respectful attitude, and his hair is dressed like a jadamakuta. The northern and southern wings of the hall contain respectively a four handed Ganesa and a mendicant. His hair is in the top knot fashion peculiar to the west coast of state with a lower cloth hanging up to his knee. His arms are in akimbo and the left holds kamandulu. It is presumed that this rock cut temple came into existence during the Chera rule as inscriptions of Bhaskara Ravi Varman have been discovered in nearby temples.