Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
The UNESCO World Heritage site at Mahabalipuram dates back to the 7th century when it was a thriving port of the Pallava Empire. This site is also called Mamallapuram, named after the great wrestler Mamalla, the title of Pallava king Narasimha Varman I. The monuments of Mahabalipuram are well known for rock carvings and monolithic sculptures. These monuments exhibit intricate sculptures and carvings which are evidence to the artisans’ creativity and craftsmanship.
The biggest attraction of this place is the spectacular Shore Temple. It is surrounded by rows of Nandi bulls looking out to the sea. Located on the Bay of Bengal, this temple was re-built stone by stone after it was washed away by the sea in a cyclone. The Shore temples are also referred as the Seven Pagodas. Out of the seven pagodas, six are submerged in the sea.
Further inland is another marvel, Arjuna’s Penance, the world’s largest bas-relief panel with over a hundred figures of men, gods and beasts.
Five beautiful rock-cut shrines offer testimony to the genius of Pallava stone-carvers. An interesting feature of these ratha is that each one of these is carved differently from a huge piece of rock.
The charm of Mahabalipuram lies not only in its monumental architecture but also in its silvery sand beach, unique handicrafts and stone-carved showpiece that are sold in plenty in the stalls near the shore.
Visit this magnificent place to view the splendid rock-cut temple architectures and marvelous cave structures.
Mahabalipuram Travel Guide