Mahabalipuram
Location:
Kanchipuram District
Distance:
60 km from Chennai
Main Attraction:
Shore Temple
Mahabalipuram city is also known as Mamallapuram and is located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. The city was once the capital of Pallava kings and was named after the Pallava King, Mamalla. It is flanked by a number of historical monuments of the yore. Considering the antiquity and the significance of the monuments, it has been listed amongst the world heritage sites of UNESCO. Throwing light on the glorious past of India, these monuments are a delight from travel and tourism point of view. Situated at a distance of 60 km from Chennai, the rock cut temples and caves situated here are the finest in the world and originated between 7th and 9th century. The main attraction of Mamallapuram is the Shore Temple, which is renowned for its intricate carvings and skilled craftsmanship, the world over. The temple is located on the shore facing the sea. The most striking feature of this temple is that it is dedicated to both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.Apart from this, there are a number of other monuments here, such as the cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots), sculpted reliefs and structural temples. Most of these monuments display Dravidian style of architecture. The pillars exhibit Dravidian art, whereas sculptures are excellent specimens of Pallava art. However, many of these structures are incomplete, which indicates sudden withdrawal of patronage form rock cut temples. Other AttractionsMandapasThere are a number of Mandapas in Mamallapuram, which are adorned with intricate carvings and reliefs. The sculptures display the artistic skills of Pallavan rock cutters. The main objects seen carved here are the figures of Gods and Goddesses. The Ganesh Mandapam is an active shrine even today and bears the figure of an Elephant God. Varaha Mandapam is dedicated to the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, namely Varaha - the boar and Vamana - the dwarf. Mahishasurmardini Mandapam depicts Goddess Durga, slaying a demon. Panch Pandava Mandapam is unfinished and is adorned with delicate carvings. RathasThere are eight rathas here, which are in the form of monolithic temples - designed as chariots. The fascinating fact about these rathas is that their carvings are done with such meticulous details that it appears as if the rathas are made up of wood. The fine lines visible in timber are engraved in stone to give it the required look. Five of theses rathas are dedicated to the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi. Dharmaraja Ratha is the largest, while the Draupadi Ratha is the smallest.

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2 comments:

  1. Mahabalipuram is a treasure house of ancient Tamil art, culture, civilization, & history. A coastal city, Mahabalipuram has an immense place of importance in Tamil history and mythology. This beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu is ordained with a number of temples and places of archeological importance. It is not surprising therefore, that because of the overabundance of these places Mahabalipuram is often referred to as a legacy in stone. The unique instances of art, culture and architecture that has been preserved by the kings of the then Pallava dynasty proves to be a delight to the eye even today and it is not for nothing that Mahabalipuram is known as an “open air museum”. The richness of Mahabalipuram has made it one of the most favorite tourist places of South India. Hotels in Mahabalipuram are for tourists from different walks of life. As the place is more of a tourist destination rather than a business one, there are many leisure hotels and budget hotels in Mahabalipuram.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice reading....I will be visiting Mahabalipuram this month.

    -Maneesh.
    Admirableindia.com

    ReplyDelete

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