Traditional temple

This photo shows a temple in India that is around 1,200 years old.

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A photo has been shared hundreds of times in Chinese social media posts that claim that this is a “rare” image of the ruins of a 7000 year old imperial palace in India. The assertion is false; the image shows the Vettuvan Koil, a temple in southern India that dates back to the 8th century.

“The Imperial Palace of India [built] 7,000 years ago, it’s very rare to see that “, we can read on Facebook in traditional Chinese on December 24, 2021.

The photo shows an elaborate structure in a huge pit.

A screenshot of a deceptive message taken on December 30, 2021

The same photo was shared in similar posts on Twitter and on TikTok’s Chinese version, Douyin.

However, the claim is false.

A reverse image search on Google found the same photo in a late 2021 travel blog post.

He describes the monument as the “Vettuvan Koil” in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu:

A screenshot of the photo in a travel blog, taken on December 31, 2021

The monolithic temple dates back to around 760-800 CE, according to a New Indian Express article by RH Kulkarni, professor of art history at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bangalore.

760 to 800 CE – also known as 760 to 800 AD – that was over 1,200 years ago.

“Vettuvan Koil, dedicated to Lord Siva, is a small monument with a rectangular plan. It is carved about 7.5 meters deep into the rock,” he wrote.

“The lower part of the monolith is unfinished while the upper part has been completed with beautiful carvings.”

The Tamil Nadu government’s archeology department – which features various photos of the temple on its website – also says it dates back to the 8th century.

An image of the Vettuvan Koil tagged to the temple location on Google Maps matches the photo shared in the deceptive posts: