Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!!

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Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! 1/1 by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Last week we went to Chennai and reached Mahabalipuram (also named Mamallapuram) via the East Coast Road (ECR) . The road from Chennai airport upto the starting of ECR had heavy traffic in the morning ….. But once in ECR, The journey was fantastic with almost no traffic .

Beautiful cottages at Ideal Beach Resort

Photo of Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Ideal Beach Resort complex .... full of greeneries around

Photo of Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

We checked - in @Ideal Beach Resort in the afternoon ........ Beautiful resort , vast areas ….. full of greeneries around .

Views of the private beach at the back side of the resort

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

The main attraction of this resort is the private beach at the back side.

We enjoyed at the resort rest of the day .

Next day we got up very early morning and finished our breakfast by 7:45am at the resort.

As planned, we took an auto rickshaw from the resort main gate...... bargained @ Rs. 400/- for a complete trip of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and to experience the rare symphony on the rocks created by the Pallavas.......

Ticket counter at Shore Temple Complex

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Board describing monuments of Mahabalipuram

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Main entry gate for Shore Temple Complex

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

We started @8:00am....... Mahabalipuram old town is just 2km by road from the resort.

Our first destination was the Shore Temple. We reached the temple gate @8:30am....... went straight to the ticket counter....... took our tickets @ Rs. 30/- per person. This ticket is valid for all the group of monuments at Mahabalipuram.

Some informations before entering temple complex :

- Temple timing : 6:00am - 5:30pm

- Entry fees : Rs. 30/- per person (Indian)

Rs. 500/- per person

(foreigners)

- Photography : Free

- Video graphs : Rs. 25/- (without tripod)

Way towards the Shore Temple

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Two temples with elegant towers emerged in the distance

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

As we walked down the long path amist the greeneries all around, two temples with elegant towers emerged in the distance.

The temples are fairly simple & built right at the coast. But if you don't know about the history of this place you might even come back with little disappointment.

The Present Shore Temples

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Brief History :

According to the ancient scriptures, Mahabalipuram was a thriving sea port in the Bay of Bengal during the Sangam Age in South India - 200B.C to 300A.D. There was a pre-existing trade relation with the Romans long before the town became a part of the Pallava empire.

The main credit for the architectural elegance of the Shore Temple Complex (built in 700 - 728A.D) under structural temples goes to Narasimha Varman II (popularly known as Rajasimha) of Pallava Dynesty.

A lot of sea traders used to identify the temple structure as the 'Seven Pagodas' bcoz the granite curved temples resembled the quintessential Pagoda. It is now inferred that the present Shore Temple complex is the last in a series of temples that seemed to exist in the submerged coastline.

As one of the group of monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.

Views of main Shore Temple Complex

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Present Shore Temple Complex :

Shore Temple is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite. A 4ft granite wall surrounds the temple complex, enclosing all its temples.

A wide stone staircase let us down into the temple complex. A narrow gate from here leads into the 'Ardha Mandapa'. At the entrance we saw 'Balipeedas' (the stone tables for sacrifice) with inscriptions on them.

Two Shiva temples in the complex area

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

The Shore Temple complex has two Shiva temples and a Vishnu temple between them. Both the Shiva temples has multi story 'Vimana'(towers) and the Vishnu temple has a flat roof.

View of 'Rajasimheswara' Shiva temple

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

View of 'Somaskanda' panel inside the temple

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Walking around the 'Ardha Mandapa', we reached the west facing Shiva temple known as 'Rajasimheswara' ..... A miniature 'Nandi bull' sits just above the doorway of the temple. It's towering roof or the 'Vimana' goes upto three(3) storeys.

Inside the doorway , there is a 'Somaskanda' panel just opposite to it ..... features Shiva & Uma with their toddler son Skanda in between them..... still looking so artistic.

Front views of Rock - Cut lion

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Side views of Rock - Cut lion

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

To the south of 'Rajasimheswara' temple, there is a large rock-cut lion..... on it's right leg sits Goddess Durga & a square socket inside the lion's heart where 'Mahishasura Mardini' (Durga) is located.

Large Shiva temple at the back side of the complex

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Broken Shiva linga visible inside large Shiva temple

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Now, we walked around the temple to its backside . There is the large Shiva temple .... faced towards east at the ocean. It's 'Vimana' goes upto five(5) storeys...... designed in such a way that the first rays of the rising sun fall on the 'Shiva Lingam' (now broken) inside.

Unfortunately the temple was blocked for visitors ...... possibly under repair.

Way to Vishnu temple .... but it is closed

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

We could'nt go to the Vishnu temple as it was closed ....... under repair.

There are two platforms on either side of this Shiva temple which has a row of 'Nandis' seated on it.

Rows of Nandis on either sides of the Shiva temples

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

'Varaha'(Boar) statue and a mini-Shiva temple

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Inside views of mini Shiva temple

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

Towards the north of these temples there is a 'Varaha'(Boar) statue and a mini-Shiva temple at a lower ground level ..... a recent discovery.

Unfinished sculptures at the beach adjacent to the Shore Temple Complex

Photo of Shore Temple of Pallava Dynesty - Still Amazing!! by Pranab Pal @paltravelogue

The views of the Bay of Bengal ocean and the beach on the south of the Shore Temple Complex is worth to see .

There are some unfinished sculptures found on the beach side after December 2004 tsunami .... which battered much of the south Indian coast, has helped unearth priceless relics in the ancient port city Mahabalipuram at Tamil Nadu.

The killer waves shifted thousands of tonnes of sand to uncover granite sculptures which archaeologists claim, are remnants of a seventh - century civilisation ..........

The sun was by now shining very bright in the sky ..... time to fuel up the body.

It's now the time also to visit the next monuments ...... Pancha Ratha's.

The memories of the last pagoda of the Shore temple is going to be etched in my memories forever !!

Still an amazing site !!

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