Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

A temple town situated in the coastal of Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram are known for its incredible architecture. Here are several famous temples at Mahabalipuram:

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 

Ratha temples

The temples that are in the shape of a chariot are also known as ratha temples. The list of Panch Rathas Temples in Mahabalipuram comprises Ganesha Ratha, Dharmaraja Ratha, Draupadi Ratha, Arjun Ratha, Nakula Sahadeva Ratha, and Bheema Ratha.

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 

They are constructed on the style of the Buddhist viharas and chaityas. The unfinished three-storey Dharmaraja ratha is the largest. The Draupadi ratha is the smallest, it is one-storeyed and has an interesting thatch-like roof. The Arjuna and Draupadi rathas are dedicated to Shiva and Durga respectively. The structural detailing of the Ratha temples carefully imitates wooden timber supports, pilasters, beams, and brackets, though of course none are necessary for stone. Because each temple is carved from a single piece of living rock, the Rathas are in a suburb state of preservation and many of their carvings are as fresh today as they were 1,300 years ago.

 

Cave temples/Mandapas

Mandapas are eleven rock-cut cave temples covered with bas-relief, carved with the help of iron mallet and chisel. According to the historians, these cave temples were cut and decorated with the help of panels in Mamalla style, sometime in the 7th century. There are other mandapas too which were built in the eighth century, like Adiranchanda Caves Temples.

The remnants of these caves indicate they were painted and plastered. The most notable of these eleven cave temples are Varaha Cave Temple, Panchapandava Cave Temple, Krishna Cave Temple, and Mahishasuramardini Mandava. The most bas-reliefs are found inside the Mahsisuramardhini Cave Temple of Goddess Durga.

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Krishna Cave Temple exhibits the sculptural representation of Lord Krishna holding the Govardhana Hill in order to protect cow herds from floods and heavy rain, along with other such sculptures. Varaha Cave Temple’s most admired sculpture is the one that depicts the incarnation of Lord Vishnu lifting Earth above the sea.  Similarly, Mahishasuramardini Mandapa and other cave temples contain interesting architectural features.

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 

Structural temples

The structural temples at Mamallapuram have been built with cut stones as building blocks. These temples were dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Durga. Shore Temple is the most famous one. The other two are Olakkanesvara and Mukundanayanar temple.

 

The Shore Temples situated at 50 km south of Madras, was built with granite blocks in the 7th century, during the reign of Rajasimha, and they depict the final flowering of Pallava art. This temple’s architecture influenced that of the Cholas who succeeded the Pallavas as the dominant dynasty in the area now covered by Tamil Nadu. It has two shrines dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva, facing the east and the west. 

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 

Rock reliefs

The Rock Reliefs of Mahabalipuram are carved either on independent boulders or rocks. These are popular mainly because of the exquisite bas-relief work, especially Descent of the Ganges which also are the open-air relief and world’s largest bas-relief work. 

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 

This bas-relief was sculpted on two huge granite boulders of 27 meters length. The sculpture represents different mythological episodes of Hindu religious belief. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram is nestled on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. 

The coastal city of the wonderful architectural treasures is situated in close proximity to Chennai in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. The architectural grandeur of the 7th and the 8th-century monuments are the breathing illustration of ancient civilization and beliefs.

 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 

Come and experiences the summer prevails of Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, enjoying sightseeing and outdoor activities. A beautiful group of monuments for a day time visit, the whole town can be covered on foot and is accessible if you've traveled from nearby Pondicherry. The city is covered by intricately carved and cut rock monoliths depicting various stories from Indian mythology
 

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