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Single rock cut temple by Pallava Varman
Single rock cut temple by Pallava Varman
Mahendravadi is located in Tamil Nadu
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
Coordinates: 12°59′30″N 79°32′0″E / 12.99167°N 79.53333°E / 12.99167; 79.53333Coordinates: 12°59′30″N 79°32′0″E / 12.99167°N 79.53333°E / 12.99167; 79.53333
Country  India
State Tamil Nadu
District Vellore
 • Official Tamil
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 632502
Vehicle registration TN-73
Nearest city Kancheepuram
Lok Sabha constituency Arakonam

Mahendravadi is a village in Arakonam taluk, Tamil Nadu, in far southern India.


According to the site Indiaan Indians, about the historical village:

"Mahendravadi owes its origin to Pallava Mahendra Varman I (AD 580–630). According to an inscription in Pallava grantha, this cave temple was excavated by Gunabhara on the bund of a large tank called Mahendra thataka in the city of Mahendrapura. The cave temple is formed by completely scooping out a large free standing boulder. Now the [Garbagraha] has an image of Narasimha."[1]

The contribution of the Pallavas to the cultural development was significant. They encouraged the growth of Tamil and Sanskrit literature. The Pallavas earned name and fame through their developed art and architecture. Mamallapuram finds a prominent place in the tourist map of the world. Even today, their temples and sculptures stand testimony to the cultural achievements of the Pallavas.

A very ancient cave temple (monolithic rock cut temple) is under the control of the ASI Department. Maintenance is the major concern with rock cut temples due to limited focus by ASI Dept.

This village was established by a Pallava King, Mahendra Varman I, who was ruling the great Pallava kingdom. Later his son Narasimha Varman I came to power, and he focused more on Mamallapuram.

The village has a history of 1,700 years, and evidence of Mahendravarman sculptures and the cave temple are still prominent.

The brahmanan street shows evidence of a very old house system in culture and towards worship of Lakshmi Narayan and Siva. There are two old temples, namely Siva Temple and Lakshmi Narayanan Temple, which define the history of the village. It was believed that these temples were from the old Pallava history. Lakshmi Narayanan Temple has the oldest statues, and every December has held the festival.

The temple on the lake is very attractive for devotees in and around the villages/town, where many people come and worship the goddess called "Madhuvathamman" (or "Madhagu Kattha Amman") meaning "God of the Lake reservoir".

The nearest town is Nemili. Tourists can visit the town for the famous Lord Veerabhatra Swamy Temple, Lord Siva temple, and Ponniamman temples.


People speak mainly Tamil


Mahendravadi has a primary and higher secondary school.

For further education, the people have to go to the nearby towns, Nemili, Panapakkam or Arakonam. For college education, they have to go either to Kancheepuram, Tirutani, Arcot or Vellore.


Mahendravadi is well-connected by bus to the nearby towns Nemili, Sholinghur and Arakonam.

There is a railway station called "Mahendravadi" at 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) distance. However, usage of the railway is not great. Banavaram (Sholighur) railway station is the connecting point.


Historical Lake – view
Historical monuments

Farming is the major source of income for the people, and they are all dependent on lake irrigation. However, the catchment area for the lake is very poor for rain water saving. There has been a direct canal from Palar to Mahendaravadi Village. This has not been properly maintained, and this leads to always dry conditions in the village.

The lake is fully dependent on Palar water, and the dark side is "palar itself is a dry river".

The lake has been capable of supplying water resources to seven other villages.

Grama panchayat[edit]

The rich grama panchayat (village-council) system has been followed since olden days, due to the Pallava dynasty procedures. There were representatives from the group of similar families who would be leading the leadership role for the particular group. There are 5 representatives from major groups who decide goods to the village and decide common objectives, wealth systems, resolving any issues, general problems, organizing the festivals and taking care of public assets like the lake, pond, temple and common places. They did not encourage police to enter and solve any family issues since they feel that all the village issues should be resolved by the facts and reality within the village system.

However, over a period of time, in the past two decades, these representatives lost their image and originality, due to selfish approach towards managing the common objectives. The Pallava history had strong systems of managing the village on its own, and very surprising to know that these systems were existing still after 14 centuries.

Temples and Festivals[edit]

Madhagu Katha Amman Temple
Temple and Lake view
Vinayagar Temple – Monuments

There are many centuries-old temples in existence. The village has historical Siva and Vishnu temples, which have the heritage and culture. Siva temple was managed by non-Brahmins, and Vishnu temple was managed by the Brahmin community. Every year, Karthikai festival was the lime light in these two temples, in the way it was performed in Thiruvannamalai.

The village people have great respect and worship "Madhagukatha Amman" (the goddess who takes care of the lake and reservoir gate) which is located on the lake crest. People believe that this goddess is very powerful, and there is a grand festival yearly once for the goddess. This festival has been celebrated for two days, and during this period, all family members join together to pray to the goddess for their health and wealth.

Pongal is another grand festival in the village, as like the entire Tamil Nadu celebrate. It has been a 4- or 5-day festival, and people enjoy these periods of harvesting.

Nowadays Diwali has also been getting colourful since it was not that much important, as per Tamil culture.

Also, the vibrant Adi Thiruvizha during July–August is very notable around the areas.


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