Elaborate rules have been laid down in the ancient Agamas and Silpa-Sastras as to the place where temples are to be built, the kinds of images to be installed there, the materials with which such images are to be fashioned, and even the dimensions and proportions of various kinds of images, to vary which will result in untold calamity to the maker and the worshipper alike. Temples must have existed in this part of the country from time immemorial. But the earliest inscriptional evidence of the existence of temples takes us back only to the age of the Pallava kings, which is supposed to be between the fourth and the ninth centuries of the Christian era. The more ancient temples were probably made of wood and other such perishable material, as we find to this day in parts of Malabar. Perhaps the Pallavas were among the very first in Southern India to build temples of durable material. In fact one ofthe most famous of these Pallava kings, Mahendravarman. Fully Illustrated.
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