Name : Arittapatti Rockcut Shiva Temple
Arittapatti is a small village located in Melur taluk of Madurai district. It is 25Kms from Madurai Town.
The hillock which looks like a pack of rocks is steeped in 2300 years old history. On one side of the hill are natural Jain caves called Pandava Padukkai and on the other side, a rock -cut Siva temple. Pandava Padukkai has got nothing to do with the Pandavas of Mahabharatham. Yet people assume the stone beds might have been used by Pandavas during their exile. These are actually the beds used by Jain saints.
The Siva temple is a fine example of the early Pandya rock-cut temple architecture. This simple but beautiful edifice, which belongs to the 7th-8th century CE, has a garbhagriha and a front mandapa. Now the local people call this temple as Idaichchi mandapam. The Siva linga of this temple has been chiseled in the centre of the same rock. The bas-relief sculptures of the Vinayaka and Siva as Lagulisa adorn the two niches of the exterior wall of the front Mandapa. This is one among the rare Lagulisa sculptures found in Tamil Nadu.