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.
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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 ..!