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Explore The Mahabalipuram


The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram is a collection of 7th- and 8th-century CE religious monuments in the coastal resort town of Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It is on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of Chennai.

The monuments were built during the Pallava dynasty.Known as the Seven Pagodas in many colonial-era publications, they are also called the Mamallapuram temples or Mahabalipuram temples in contemporary literature. The site, restored after 1960, has been managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.

  • The site has 400 ancient monuments and Hindu temples,including one of the largest open-air rock reliefs in the world.
  • Although the ancient history of Mahabalipuram is unclear, numismatic and epigraphical evidence and its temples suggest that it was a significant location before the monuments were built.
  • The medieval Sanskrit text mentions the Mamallapuram monuments, an early tradition of repairs, and the significance of Vaishnavism.
  • Since there are now fewer than seven towers, the name has inspired speculation and argument.
  • Badrinarayanan said in a BBC report that they dated to the 9th century and may have been destroyed by a 13th-century tsunami.

Places of Interest

Ratha temples

The ratha temples, in southern Mahabalipuram, are carved in the shape of chariots. Their artists used naturally-occurring blocks of diorite and granite in sand, carving legends in stone.

Dharmaraja Ratha

The Dharmaraja ratha has a square floor plan within a rectangular frame (26.75 ft x 20.67 ft), and is 35.67 feet high.It has an open porch supported by pillars.

Cave temples

Mandapa is a Sanskrit term for a typically-square vestibule, pillared hall or pavilion.It was a space for people to gather socially, usually for ceremonies and rite-of-passage rituals.


The Varaha cave was excavated from a vertical wall on the west face of the main Mamallapuram hill.Its architecture is simple; a Vaishnavism-related cave temple, it is known for its four sculptures depicting Hindu legends.


Kotikal is a simple, early excavation with two pilasters on its facade. In front of it are sockets, suggesting a structural mukhamandapa (main hall).

Shore Temple

The Shore Temple complex is near the Mamallapuram shore, hence its modern name. It consists of a large temple, two smaller temples and many minor shrines, open halls, gateways and other elements, much of which is buried by sand.

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