At a place called Kulumûlu, half way between Tinnevelly and Strivelliputtar, about 30 miles distant from each, there exist a number of rock-cut sculptures and temples, which if properly examined and described might prove of considerable interest. At present they are only known from Capt. Lyons' photographs,1 and as no dimensions are given and the inscriptions are still untranslated, it is difficult to say much about them.
On one side of the hill they all belong to the Jaina religion, and consist (photos. 337, 338, and 339) of a great number of Jaina figures of various sizes, and differently accompanied which were originally intended to be protected by a wooden roof, which has now disappeared. They are not of great beauty or antiquity, probably the 11th or 12th century. Indeed they are of so little interest, that the place would hardly be worth mention, were it not that on the other side of the hill there is a little rock-cut temple dedicated to Śiva which is a gem of its class. It is almost a counterpart of the upper part of the Śikhara of the Kailas at Elurâ, and consequently probably of the same age. It is, however, even more elaborately sculptured than even that famous temple, and taken altogether it is perhaps, as far as it goes, as fine a specimen of its style as is to be found in India. It is, however, like most things in the south, unfinished, and its cell untenanted. Still, it is so beautiful that it is to be regretted that more is not known about it, especially as it probably is not unique, but other specimens of the class may be found in that neighbourhood when looked for.
- 1. Photographs of Ancient Arch. in Southern India, Nos. 337 to 342.