Mahabalipuram Sea Shore Temple Tour
Mahabalipuram is located at a distance of 58 km from Chennai. It is one of the most exciting and memorable destinations with rich tradition history, piety and western annals. It is one of the popular tourist places known for great architecture much visible in its rock carvings and monolithic sculptures. It also has the famous Mahabalipuram shore temple the only one to have survived the wrath of nature. Also known as the Seven Pagodas (temples), six of them now lie drowned in the sea. The architecture of the temples at Mahabalipuram are inspired by the Pallava Art and were built during the period 830 - 1100 AD.
Situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal is an ancient sea-side town. The Pallava art at this place emphasizes robust earthly beauty, imbibed with life. The Pallavas have created many marvelous monuments sculptural panels, caves, monolithic rathas and sculptural temples. Mythological episodes, epic battles, demons, gods, animal, are all vividly depicted on the wall. Sculptures are breathtakingly real and artistic. This fantasy was created and architect by the great Chirpi Devadapperunithachan.
The history of Mahabalipuram dates back to two thousand years it contains nearly forty monuments of different types including an "open air bas relief" which is the largest in the world, for centuries it has been a centre of pilgrimage, it figures in the early annals of the British search for the picturesque in India in the 18th century, today it attracts shoals of foreigners in search of relaxation and sea bathing, and most strange of all, it has an atomic power plant for neighbor. A small library has been written on it. Over its history and that of its monuments a number of scholarly controversies rage. Mahabalipuram was already a centre of pilgrimage when, in the 7th century Mamalla made it a seaport and began to make temples fashioned of rock.
Mahabalipuram Shore Temple
Close to the sea-shore, so close as to almost allow the spray of the waves to dash against the walls of the temple, is what is known as the Shore temple of Mahabalipuram, an example of a masonry temple of Rajasimha’s time. The vimana top here is somewhat narrow and elongated. The main shrine faces the east and the entrance to it, which is a small gopuram with the continuation on either sides leads to the perambulatory passage between the temple and the outer wall. A stepped approach leads to the entrance of the temple and beyond the poch is the main cell which enshrines a broken fluted Siva-linga. As is usual on the pallava temples, the Somaskandha group is presented behind the Sivalinga, it is also repeated on either side on the walls of the porch. There are rampant lions at interval dividing the carved panels of the outer walls of the temple. Behind this shrine, there is a figure of Seshasayi Vishnu.
Opposite top this temple at some distant is a bali-pitha and the pedestal of dhvaja-stambha, around which have been stacked some loose sculptures. Here an expansive courtyard is partly surrounded by an unfinished enclosure, along which rows of sculpted Nandi are arranged. Near the entrance to the west there are panels probably dealing with tech scenes from the history of the pallavas.
Places to Visit Mahabalipuram
These monumental splendors and the sunny beach attract tourists from all over the world. Some of the sightseeing places which the travelers are not afford to miss in Mamallapuram are Arjuna's penance, five rathas, the shore temple, cave temples, Mahisasuramardhini Cave, krishna mandapam, krishna's butter ball, tiger cave, open air museum, covelong beach, dakshina chitra and so on.
List of Tourist Attractions in Mahabalipuram
- Arjuna's Penance
- Sea Shore Temple
- Monolithic Rathas
- Krishna Mandapam
- Tiger's Cave
- Pancha Pandava Cave
- Trimurti Cave
- Ganesha Ratha
- Varaha Mandapa
- Descent of the Ganges
Sculptures of Mahabalipuram Sea Shore Temple
Ratha Temples : Ratha temples are the monolithic erections that are cut into the residual blocks of diorite that came out from the sand. These temples, as mentioned above are in form of the processional chariots. The five rathas of the South India, which are the most renowned, date back to the sovereignty of Naharasimhavarman Mamalla, the great Pallava king.
Mandapas : Rock sanctuaries are known as mandalas as well. They are modeled in form of rooms that are enveloped with bas-relief. The mandapa of Varaha, mirrors the works of this incarnation of Vishnu; the mandapa of Mahishasuramardini, the mandapa of the Pandavas and the mandapa of Krishna are notable.
Descent of the Ganges : A well-liked episode in the iconography of Siva is depicted by the rock relief in the open air. This illustration is that of the Descent of the Ganges. According to the legends, the prudent king Baghiratha requested him to do so, thus, Siva commanded the Ganges to tumble down to Earth and to nurture the earth. The sculptors have made use of the natural cleft and have divided the cliff to put forward this celestial event which is witnessed by a teeming crowd of gods, goddesses, mythological beings such as Gandherya, Kinnara, Gana, Apsara, Naga and Nagini, along with wild and domestic animals.
Monolithic Rathas : Monolithic rathas depict an assortment of architectural structures ranging from single-to triple-storeyes. While the Dharmaraja Yudhishthir, Arjuna and Draupadi rathas are quadrangle in plan, the rathas of Bhima and Ganesa are rectangular, and the Sahadeva ratha is apsidal. It was during the reign of Pallava Rajasimha when structural architecture was established on a splendid scale and concluded in the creation of the Shore Temple.
Mahabalipuram Shore Temples Photos
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