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

  • Sittanavasal is considered by historians to be one of the oldest inhabited areas in the district and a major centre of Jain influence.
  • This is the only place in Tamil Nadu where we can see Pandya paintings.
  • 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, done using the fresco-secco technique.
  • The ceiling paintings show ‘bhavyas’ (exalted souls who work to achieve moksha or spiritual liberation) enjoying themselves in a pool, full of blooming lotuses; today much of it is obscured by patchy plastering.
  • Faint outlines linger of dancing girls on the ‘ Ardha mandapam’ pillars.