The unmistakable Ajanta style down south in Kanchipuram?

The unmistakable Ajanta style was in full bloom a 1000 km away in the ancient city of Kanchipuram, where the Pallavas were at the zenith of their glory during the 7th and 9th centuries.

It is said that the walls of the Kailasanatha temple were once covered with paintings of brilliant colours, however most of them have vanished. Thanks to the efforts of the ingenious archaeological chemist Shri Paramasivan, a few fragments have survived.

The fragments at Kailasanatha along with the remnants at Talagishwara temple are quite significant - these are the only two surviving examples of the Pallava mural paintings. Further, they represent an important stage in the history of the development of South Indian paintings.

The mural heritage of Kanchipuram may not be the richest in India but the evolution of styles and multiplicity of forms and themes that developed at different periods of history under the patronage of different dynasties make it ever so fascinating!

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