Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mamallapuram Part 1 : Shore Temple

Mamallapuram aka Mahabalipuram is famous for Pallva Rock-cut architecture and sculptures. It is at a distance of about 65Kms from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This Unesco World Heritage site that needs  no introduction from bloggers has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries.

Narasimha Varma Pallavan, the great Pallava King, made Mamallapuram the capital of Pallava rock-cut architecture. He was bestowed with a vision that saw charriots,art-caves and beautiful mandapams in what others saw as rocks.. He really rocked..! Didn't he?. He  chiseled poetry on rocks and stones that was continued by the next generation of Pallava Kings like Rajasimhan.

I was inspired by this historic place ever since I read Kalki's historical Novel (Tamil) of epic proportion - Sivagamiyin Sabadham during the school days. Mamallapuram finds an important place in this great historical Novel.

I visited Mamallapuram over a couple of week ends in Jan 2011. Each time I returned from this place awe-struck  and was silently saluting the Vision of  the Great Pallava King...!

This wikipedia section summarises the Pallava Architecture well..!

The following links also provide some interesting facts about Pallava Architecture.


Browse for more details the following wiki sites that contain more information than you could ask for..!
These wiki sites make light of our work ..Don't they..?  I love wikipedia..!

Enough of links..!

I am amazed at the amount of information available on the internet (which speaks for the greatness of this place), So the idea is not to repeat what has been said already. My posts are just an attempt to capture the rock poetry in the photos and videos to share with others. Some photos are worth viewing again and again and this could be true of the photos of this great place too..! So the redundancy of these snaps on the net could well be acceptable..! Hope you like and enjoy them as much as I did.!

There are so many monuments which I took so many photos and videos of that a single post can neither contain all of them nor would do justice to any of them...!
So there would be many parts to this series of Mamallapuram Monuments  starting with...

The Shore Temple




This beautiful temple is situated on the shores of the beautiful beach of Mamallapuram.
The below summary from this link -> http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-temples/shore-temple.html aptly describes it.
"Shore Temple is also acknowledged for being the first stone structure made by Pallavas. Before this, the monuments used to be carved out of the rocks or stones. Unlike other monuments of the region, Shore Temple is a five-storied rock-cut structural temple more willingly than monolithical. In southern India, this is one amongst the earliest and most important structural temples. The spire is extensively decorated with carvings and sculptures. In the recent years, a stone wall has been constructed to protect the shrine from further sea-erosion.
Perched on a 50 feet square plinth, the pyramidal structure raises to the extent of 60 feet. Presenting a typical specimen of Dravidian temple architecture, Shore Temple generates an exclusive combination of history and natural splendor. The temple was designed to grasp the first rays of the rising sun and to spotlight the waters after sunset. Shore Temple served as "a landmark by day and a beacon by night" - aptly described by Percy Brown...."

If you have not visited this temple, you better do it soon....as this cute kid has decided to do......before sea erosion eats this up completely..!








The beauty of this beach may not be contained in words, but looks like it can be contained in a cage..!


















I spotted this beautiful cart in the hotel adjacent to the shore temple fence on my way back ..!








More Photos of this great Monument..!






The same set of photos for slow bandwidth..!