Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamilnadu, India


Mahabalipuram, now referred to as ‘Mamallapuram’ is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It has been classified as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO. It was the port city of the Pallavas, who ruled between 7th and 9th century and houses various temples and monuments of that period.
Most monuments in and around this port city are rock-cut and monolithic (cut out from a single piece of rock) in nature. Important structures include the Thirukadalmallai, a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was built by the Pallava King to safeguard the rest of the sculptures from the ocean and legend has it that after this temple was built, the remaining architecture was preserved and not corroded by the Sea. The Panch Rathas are five montolithic monuments named after the Pandavas . The Varaha Cave Temple and the Shore Temple are the other prominent structures.

Mahabalipuram is a leading example of the intricate Dravidian Art and continues to fascinate Historians and Archaeologists alike. Many more structures have been recently excavated in this location, increasing its importance as a landmark in the annals of South Indian Architecture.