The temple tour to Mamallapuram promoted by Tamil Nadu tourism takes you to the Mamallapuram Temples in South India. Mamallapuram Temple travel guide tells about the many fold mysteries of great Hindu mythology in India. Take a temple tour to Mamallapuram and known more about the cultural heritage of South India. Mamallapuram temple, a cluster of seven pagodas (temples), much known for its architectural splendor is masterpiece in itself.

Tamil Nadu Attractions
India - Tamil Nadu - Mamallapuram - Mamallapuram Temple

Mahabalipuram Temples

Mahabalipuram is located at a distance of 58-km from Chennai. It is one of the most exciting and memorable destinations, with rich tradition, history, piety and western annals. It is one of the popular tourist places, known for great architecture much visible in its rock carvings and monolithic sculptures. It also has the famous shore temple, the only one to have survived the wrath of nature. Also known as the Seven Pagodas (temples), six of them now lie drowned in the sea. The architecture of the temples at Mahabalipuram are inspired by the Pallava Art and were built during the period 830 - 1100 AD.

At Mahabalipuram, there are two low hills of about 400m above the sea. There are about 11 excavated temples, called Mandapas on both sides of one of the hills. A 'cut-out' temple, called Ratha is carved out of a big rock standing nearby.

Mahabalipuram TemplesThe other hill is much smaller and stands about 200m to the south. There are five more rathas, three big sculptures of a Nandi, a Loin and an Elephant carved out of it. On the top of the bigger hill there is a structural temple, and at a little distance there is the magnificent beginnings of a Vijayanagar Gopura which is also believed to be survivals of a so called palace.

Mahabalipuram also has about forty monuments known for their architecture including an "open air bas relief" which is the largest in the world. Since many centuries it has been a center of pilgrimage, and even today it pulls innumerable devotees and tourists.

¤ The Varaha Caves

The Varaha Cave is a small rock-cut mandapam (hall). Here one can find the incarnations of Vishnu-Varaha (boar) and Vamana (dwarf). The four panels of Pallava doorkeepers are the most important and famous. The Dharmaraja Cave, built in the early seventh century, consists three empty shrines. The Mahisasurmardini Cave (mid-seventh century) has fine bas-reliefs on its panels of imperishable beauty. The Somaskanda sculpture here represents peace, power, and wisdom. Here Lord Vishnu is shown in omniscient repose in a masterpiece of dhwani (the art of suggestion). There's also a huge theatrical panel showing, Goddess Durga's fight with the demon Mahishasura. The Tiger Cave is about 5 km north of Mahabalipuram, which is a rock-cut shrine, dating back to 7th century.

¤ Rathas

The Rathas are a group of structures placed at the southern extreme of Mahabalipuram. They are situated amidst Casuarina trees. There are Pancha Pandava Rathas, which are five in numbers. Among these five, four are carved out of a single rock, while the fifth on the west is scooped out from a small rock. The complex consists of square Draupadi and Arjuna Rathas, the linear Bhima Ratha, the taller Dharamraja Ratha and the niche Nakula-Sahadeva Ratha.

¤ Krishna Mandapam

The Krishna Temple is a rock-cut temple and is one of the first in Mahabalipuram. The walls of the temples describe scenes of reverend life, one of the pictures here shows Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan Hill on his fingertips to protect his people from Indra.

¤ Shore Temple

The Shore Temple, beside the sea shore is a lovely temple, caressed by the sea water and the wind. There is three-in-one abode of God, containing a Vishnu temple and two Shiva temples. It is a visual delight, having wonderful architectural masterpieces. There is sea on either side, having no limits to its extent. Within the compound wall of this temple lies the pleasing sculptures of Nandi the bull while the figure of Vishnu is present in the sanctum sanctorum.

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