Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu

Posted in : Tamil Nadu

(added few years ago!)

Mahabalipuram, derived from 'Mamallapuram'  is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet).

Mahabalipuram was a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas around 60 km south from the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The name Mamallapuram is believed to have been given after the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I, who took on the epithet Maha-malla (great wrestler), as the favourite sport of the Pallavas was wrestling. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The monuments are mostly rock-cut and monolithic, and constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible. They are constituted by cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots), sculpted reliefs and structural temples. The pillars are of the Dravidian order. The sculptures are excellent examples of Pallava art.

It is believed by some that this area served as a school for young sculptors. The different sculptures, some half-finished, may have been examples of different styles of architecture, probably demonstrated by instructors and practiced on by young students. This can be seen in the Pancha Rathas where each Ratha is sculpted in a different style. These five Rathas were all carved out of a single piece of granite in situ. While excavating Khajuraho, Alex Evans, a stonemason and sculptor, recreated a stone sculpture made out of sandstone, which is softer than granite, under 4 feet that took about 60 days to carve. The carving at Mahabalipuram must have required hundreds of highly skilled sculptors.

Some important structures include:

·         Thirukadalmallai, the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was also built by Pallava King in order to safeguard the sculptures from the ocean. It is told that after building this temple, the remaining architecture was preserved and was not corroded by sea.

·         Descent of the Ganges – a giant open-air bas relief

·         Arjuna's Penance – relief sculpture on a massive scale extolling an episode from the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata.

·          Varaha Cave Temple – a small rock-cut temple dating back to the 7th century.

·         The Shore Temple – a structural temple along the Bay of Bengal with the entrance from the western side away from the sea. Recent excavations have revealed new structures here. The temple was reconstructed stone by stone from the sea after being washed away in a cyclone.

·         Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) – five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. An interesting aspect of the rathas is that, despite their sizes they are not assembled – each of these is carved from one single large piece of stone.

Route

Number               Start                      End                                                           Via

108 B     Mahabalipuram              Chennai                              Thirukazhukundram, Chengalpattu

115         Mahabalipuram              Tambaram                         Thiruporur, Kelambakkam

117         Mahabalipuram              Kovalam (Tamil Nadu)     East Coast Road

118         Chennai                           Kalpakkam                        Mahabalipuram, East Coast Road

119         Chennai                            Kalpakkam                        Mahabalipuram, Old Mahabalipuram Road

188 (ECR)  Chennai                      Pondicherry                       Mahabalipuram

188 C     Chennai                           Cheyyur                              Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam

188 D     Chennai                           Anaicut                                Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam

188 K     Chennai                           Kadapakkam                     Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam

212 A     Mahabalipuram             Kancheepuram                   Thirukazhukundram, Chengalpattu

515         Mahabalipuram              Tambaram                           Thiruporur, Kelambakkam

566 B     Patur                                  Mahabalipuram                 East Coast Road

568A/c Mahabalipuram            Adyar, Chennai                     Old Mahabalipuram Road

588A/c Mahabalipuram            Adyar, Chennai                     East Coast Road

568CA/c Mahabalipuram         Koyambedu, Chennai          Old Mahabalipuram Road

588CA/c Mahabalipuram         Koyambedu, Chennai          East Coast Road

589A/c Velachery                       Mahabalipuram                     East Coast Road

599A/c T.Nagar                            Mahabalipuram                   East Coast Road

Reaching Mahabalipuram

From Bangalore to Mahabalipuram (347 km)


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From Guntur to Mahabalipuram (480 KM)


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From Chennai to Mahabalipuram (54.7 km)


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Mahabalipuram Images

Tags : Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

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(added few years ago!) / 2669 views
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