Related Topics

Mandala Art
2022 AUG   10

Sittanavasal heritage site

2022 SEP 28

Preliminary   > Art and Culture   >   Painting   >   Ancient Indian paintings

Why in news?

  • With much of the art in Sittanavasal either damaged or vandalised, Archaeological Survey of India has undertaken conservation measures and also introduced digital checks to track public access

About Sittanavasal:

  • It is located in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu
  • It is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited areas in the district and a major centre of Jain influence for 1,000 years just before the Christian era.
  • Sittanavasal is the name used synonymously for the hamlet and the hillock that houses
    • (a) Arivar Kovil (temple of Arihats – Jains who conquered their senses)
    • (b) ‘Ezhadipattam’ (a cavern with 17 polished rock beds)
    • (c) Megalithic burial sites and
    • (d) The Navachunai tarn (small mountain lake) with a submerged shrine.
  • This is the only place in Tamil Nadu where one can see Pandya paintings.
  • The site is administered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

About Sittanavasal’s painting works

  • The artwork on the ceiling of the sanctum and the Ardha mandapam of Arivar Kovil is an early example of post-Ajanta cave paintings of the fourth to sixth centuries.
  • It is done using the fresco-secco technique
    • A process that dispenses with the preparation of the wall with wet plaster.
  • The ceiling paintings show ‘bhavyas’ (exalted souls who work to achieve moksha or spiritual liberation) enjoying themselves in a pool, full of blooming lotuses.
  • The colors are a mixture of plant dyes and mineral elements such as lime, lamp black, and clay pigments such as ochre for yellow and terre verte for the greyish-green tints.

About Sittanavasal’s inscriptions

  • The Sittanavasal has inscriptions from Brahmi and ‘vattaezhuthu’, from the third century AD.
  • Early Tamil inscriptions from the ninth century AD of the Jain monk Ilan-Gautaman were also present here.


Consider the following statements regarding ancient inscriptions at Arivar Kovil, Sittanavasal:

1. The script used in the inscriptions were Brahmi and Vattaezhuthu

2. Tamil inscriptions of the Jain monk Ilan-Gautaman were present here

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Related Topics

Mandala Art
2022 AUG   10