Contrary to its name, the Rayar Gopuram doesn’t have a Gopuram! The large structure to support the Gopuram is there, but the Gopuram was never constructed. But the structure constructed to host the Gopuram itself is majestic. Just imagine, had the Gopuram been constructed, it would stood tall and gigantic! It would have become the star of Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram!! Perhaps our Government could take it up and complete it?
Here are some more pictures from around this place. Since I went on a weekend, all the monuments were swarming with people and I was not able to take proper photographs. I had to reject a lot of photos due to this reason. Have a look at this blog for better shots.
The next monument I am going to show you is the Ramanuja Mandapam. Actually, this was constructed as a Shiva temple/mandapam initially (during the 7th century), but later during the rule of Vijayanagara empire, it was changed into a Vishnu temple/mandapam. It seems, there were many pillars like the ones shown below, but many of them were destroyed. Somehow, the loosely fitted pillars below have impressed me!
Next, let us have a look at the Varaha cave. The Varaha cave is a rock-cut monument and is even older than the other structural monuments located around this place. All of them belong to the 7th century, anyway. There is a temple in the center and beautifully carved figures on both the sides. The pillars add even more to the beauty of this place. As you can see below, the carvings are preserved quite well. But then, one can also look at beautiful carvings in the Arjuna’s penance site as well.
The sculptures in this place depict the Varaha avatar of Vishnu where God has a human body and head of a boar. You can read a short description of the Varaha avatar from here.