Thursday, November 26, 2009

Shore Temple-Mahabalipuram

Mammalapuram or Mahabalipuram is about 56 Kms.from Chennai, is famous for it's shore temple, an architectural marvel dating back to Pallava period. i.e 600 AD . This is a classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Monument and it has become a protected sight. There is no worship in this temple though there are one or two shrines. Out of the 7 temples or pagodas , only one is remaining now and others got submerged in water. The shore temple is famous for its monolithic sculptures, bas reliefs and small caves. Tourists flock to this place and spend time leisurely enjoying the beauty of the monuments and the wonderful beaches.

The deities and outer walls of the main temple have started eroding due to the exposure to saline water which flows into it during high tidal waves. This temple along with the monolithic Rathas and Arjuna's Penance are famous. There are also a couple of temples nearby. This place is a must see for those who are planning a South Indian tour.
To reach:
Many AC and non AC buses ply to Mahabalipuram from different parts of the Chennai city


  1. I think this might be my favourite Temple so far. All those sculptures are simply stunnning.

  2. You are right Petty Witter, hence this place is regularly frequented by the people from world over.

    There's still much more to look around these monument, we were quite tired after our hill temple trip to Tirukazhukundram.

  3. its been ages since i visited mahabalipuram... next time i m in chennai, must really go again!!

  4. Anu
    Everything looks so different there. Must visit.They have nice greenery and a well laid path in and around the monument. maintained well.

  5. nothing like an easy bike ride to nice that place is! epo ponenga? if yu go during summer , yu are sure to be set ablaze! :) ...

  6. Hary,
    Pona varam than poyittu vandhen. Weather was fine as we went there immediately after the rains. I am in Chennai for a brief visit. Summer outing chance. Now there is lot of greenery around the temple, developed like a park.

  7. Wow! I do love the details in your posts!

  8. Thank you Betty, I welcome your comments.

  9. Hi Chitra,
    I like your blog very much especially because I study Indian temples and have travelled across India to document them. I made an extensive study of the South Indian temple and yes, I like Shore Temple very much. It was built during early 8th century CE in the reign of the Pallava king Narasimhavarman. The temple has a unique feature that it has two Shiva shrines and a Vishnu shrine sandwiched in between these Shiva shrine. The early Bhakti saints of Tamil Nadu sang praises of Lord Vishnu lying on the floor in the shrine of this temple. The temple was a proclamation of the Pallava supremacy and Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram in Tamil) was the major port of the Pallavas on the East Coast. We have iscriptions carved on the plinth of the temple from the Pallavas (6th-8th centuries) down to the Chola period (9th-12th centuries) in Tamil with Sanskrit eulogies.

  10. Archana,
    You know so many things. Yes, The Vishnu in reclining position is very much there but as it is kept closed the photo didn't come out well. This shore temple is different from all other temples I have seen.

  11. Lovely pictures. Mahaballipuram is an awesome place for photography. Again a nice post!



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