Friday, February 4, 2011

Mamallapuram - Part 2 : Arjuna Penance

Arjuna Penance is one of the largest open air-rock sculpture (Bas relief Architecture) in the world .
Approximately 96ft long and 43 ft high, carved in mid seventh century on the face of two enormous adjacent boulders. While the enormity is mind boggling, the artistry is enchanting..!

It is a pity that one needs to view this monument from the edge of the road....!

There are many schools of thoughts over the theme of Arjuna's penance. One school believes that the sculpture shows Arjuna undertaking a penance to obtain a rare weapon against his enemies. The other School believes that it portrays the legend of the River Ganges's descent to earth. Whatever the reasons, Arjuna penance remains one of the most beautifully carved structures at Mamallapuram. Arjuna's Penance has over 100 figures of gods and semi divine creatures, birds and beasts, man and saint.

For More details follow the links below:

Instead of talking through this great monument; taking the audience through a virtual PHOTO tour will be more benefitial..!  
Some close-ups..! I am pained to see the mutilations on these sculptures..!

Full Set of PHOTOS

Full screen slideshow here.

I love viewing this awesome monument with some soothing music to go with ..!

Glad I took some VIDEO clips...(small though..!)

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  1. Fantastic capture. Such intricate carvings.
    Where's the butter ball?

  2. What superb, breathtaking captures, Sridharan! Coming from such a young country in comparison to India, I am awestruck by the art, the architecture, the temples! I basically knew so little about India before I began blogging even though I had traveled and lived in Europe and Mexico and enjoyed their history, they are more familiar to us here than India is. How I would love to visit there someday! In the meantime, however, your photos are a perfect, informative trip! Thank you!


  3. Each country has it's own heritage and charm that is unique. True, India in itself is ancient and I recollect what one of my Photo forum friends said one of my photos " ...4000,40000 even 400,000 photos of this great country can do not more than scratching the surface of this great country..." How true it is?..
    Thanks Silvia for your kind comments..

  4. Thanks for stopping by usual you are very kind with your comments. The butter ball is on the way to Trimurthi cave...Just walk further along the road from Arjuna Penance, the ball is visible from the road ..

  5. I mean the ball is not seen in your collection?or did I miss seeing it here.

  6. Superb images as usual...and I agree that mutilations of figurines is very sad, still happens at so many of our monuments...

  7. Beautiful post...
    Looks a bit like the Ajanta caves, though the situation there seems bad...
    But the place is beautiful and the stone sculptures Awesome...

  8. Chitra,
    It finds a place in my next post.

  9. Thanks TGS and Arti for stopping by

  10. Thanks Siddharth ...! The mutilations are not only here, I see them every where.. I guess, the protective actions for this great monument has been recent. The situation is worse in the beautiful Kailasanathar temple of Kanchi of which I have a post. It is really heart breaking..

  11. Arti,
    Do you mean, Ajantha is also mutilated?. I have not been to that great place yet..I visited Ellora and could not cover Ajantha in that trip.


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