mahablipuram

MAHABALIPURAM

The excellent usage of natural landscape in carving out magnificent structures is a unique feature of the temples and monuments at Mahabalipuram. Build between 6th and 9th centuries by the Pallava dynasty, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It is especially known for its ‘rathas’ (temples in the form of chariots), ‘mandapas’ (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air relief of the famous ‘Descent of the Ganges’ and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. Located on the eastern coast of India in the state of Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram occupies a distinct position in classical Indian architecture. The monuments can be subdivided into five categories: Mandapas, Rathas, Rock reliefs, temples and excavated remains. The larger-than-life rock-cut cave temples, monolithic temples, bas-relief sculptures give it a distinguish look to Mahabalipuram as a whole. These sculptures of Mahabalipuram later founds its influence on the architectural temples and Buddhist sites in Cambodia and Java in Indonesia. Home to the cult of Siva, Mahabalipuram is pre-eminently, the testimony to the Pallava civilization of southeast India. The property is conserved and managed by Archeological Survey of India.