Mamallapuram Things to Do

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    by elpariente
  • Things to Do
    by elpariente
  • Things to Do
    by elpariente

Most Recent Things to Do in Mamallapuram

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    Arjuna Ratha

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 24, 2013
    Arjuna Ratha
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    Next to the Draupadi Ratha is the Arjuna Ratha. The Arjuna Ratha is an elegantly carved two-storeyed temple. A highlight of this ratha is a carving of Shiva (Hindu deity - "the Destroyer" or "the Transformer") leaning on his mount, the bull Nandi. Royal couples and other carved figures adorn the outer walls.

    Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Entry fee (valid for Panch Rathas complex and the Shore Temple): Rs 250 (adults), Rs 10 (Indians & children)
    Video charge: Rs 25

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    Draupadi Ratha - the smallest Ratha

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 24, 2013
    Draupadi Ratha
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    Draupadi Ratha is the smallest of the Panch Rathas. This ratha is a replica of a thatched tribal shrine. It is dedicated to the Goddess Durga (Mother of the Universe). The highlight of the Draupadi Ratha is the Durga panel on the rear wall of the sanctum. It depicts devotees kneeling in front of a four-arm Durga. In a supreme act of self-sacrifice one of the devotees is shown in the process of cut his own head off.

    Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Entry fee (valid for Panch Rathas complex and the Shore Temple): Rs 250 (adults), Rs 10 (Indians & children)
    Video charge: Rs 25

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    Panch Rathas

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 24, 2013
    Panch Rathas Complex

    Panch Rathas, also known as Five Rathas, is a complex of monolithic rock-cut temples dating back to the mid-7th century. The Panch (five) Rathas (processional temple chariots) are named after the five Pandava brothers, heroes of the India epic Mahabharata. The shrine panels are richly carved with Hindu deities.

    Two things make the rathas unique. The first is that the stones were cut in situ. The second is that the styles and techniques of wooden architecture were imitated in stone creating a variety of forms. These would later influence the very distinct South Indian temple design. The temples were never finished so none were ever used for worship.

    Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Entry fee (valid for Panch Rathas complex and the Shore Temple): Rs 250 (adults), Rs 10 (Indians & children)
    Video charge: Rs 25

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    Krishna's Butter Ball

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 24, 2013

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    Krishna's Butter Ball
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    Continuing from Arjuna's Penance, near the Ganesha Ratha is a huge boulder known as Krishna's Butter Ball. The boulder - seems to defy the laws of physics - sits precariously on a very narrow base. The legend surrounding the boulder is that several Pallava kings and their elephants tried to move it, but were not able to budge it even by an inch. This is a popular spot with people taking photos of "pushing" or holding up the boulder or resting underneath it in the shade.

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    World's Largest Bas-Relief

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 24, 2013

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    Arjuna's Penance
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    The pride of Mamallapuram is Bhagiratha's Penance, more commonly known as Arjuna's Penance or the Descent of the Ganges. Sculpted on the face of two adjacent rocks, at 27m X 9m it is the world's largest bas-relief. The panel depicts gods, saints, animals, and birds, watching the Ganges descent from the Himalayas. The sculptures are really wonderful - particularly the elephants and monkeys.

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    Shore Temple

    by bwk_michael Written Feb 8, 2013
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    see the local sites. The Shore Temple (built in 700-728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. It was built on a promontory sticking out into the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipuram, a village south of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The village was a busy port during the 7th and 8th century reign of the Pallava dynasty during the reign of Narasimhavarman II.

    As one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest structural (versus rock-cut) stone temples of South India

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    Trimurthi Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram

    by mehulraj Written Dec 8, 2012

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    Trimurthi Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram
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    Trimurthi Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram

    Trimurti Cave Temple again a marvelous structure in Mahabalipuram. The cave temple is near to Ganesh Ratha and its dedicated to three different prime gods of Hindu religion. Names Lord Brahma the creator of Universe, Lord Vishnu the Protector and Lord Shiva the Destroyers. And all these three gods are in separate section. And I have already explained a lot about Trimuti in my ELEPHANTA ISLAND PAGE, which is again an UNESCO world heritage site.

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    Shore Temple II, Mamallapuram

    by mehulraj Written Nov 24, 2012

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    Shore Temple II, Mamallapuram
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    Shore Temple, Mamallapuram

    This Majestic Monument known as Shore Temple at Mamllapuram is situated very near to the sea shore and thus it got its name. It is listed amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. From Arjuna’s Penance, a straight path towards the sea leads to this structural temple. It was built by Narasimha Varman II during 700AD approximately and he was also known as Rajasimha. And the interesting fact about this temple is, there were seven temples like this near to shore but only one is left other 6 were buried under sea. At present its safeguarded by big wall built around it to avoid erosion by sea but still over a period of time weather has played a significant role in eroding its mesmerizing glory. Which we can see on its walls. Actually its believed that its walls were plastered with lime stone and at present we can see remaining plaster on its wall. Most of the plaster has got eroded over a period of time.

    There are two shrines here dedicated to Lord Shiva known as “ Kshatriyasimha Pallaveshwara” and the other to Lord Vishnu known as “Jalasayanar” or Lord Vishnu is imaged reclining on the snake and this sculpture is also known as “Seshanag”. And in Shiva shirne behind the Linga we can see the sculpture of Lord shiva, “Somaskanda” is portrayed on the wall and I have already described this sculpture on my previous reviews.
    And near to this temple you will also able to see Devi Durga seated on the hind leg of lion.The temple was designed to grasp the first rays of the rising sun and to spotlight the waters after sunset. In the words of Percy Brown, Shore Temple served as “ Landmark by day and beacon by night”

    Other interesting thing is this temple makes the background of Mahabalipuram Dance Festival which is held during the month of Jan/Feb every year. The festival is organized to promote the traditional dance as well as tourism in Mahabalipuram.

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    Shore Temple, Mamallapuram

    by mehulraj Updated Nov 24, 2012

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    Shore Temple, Mamallapuram
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    Shore Temple, Mamallapuram

    This Majestic Monument known as Shore Temple at Mamllapuram is situated very near to the sea shore and thus it got its name. It is listed amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. From Arjuna’s Penance, a straight path towards the sea leads to this structural temple. It was built by Narasimha Varman II during 700AD approximately and he was also known as Rajasimha. And the interesting fact about this temple is, there were seven temples like this near to shore but only one is left other 6 were buried under sea. At present its safeguarded by big wall built around it to avoid erosion by sea but still over a period of time weather has played a significant role in eroding its mesmerizing glory. Which we can see on its walls. Actually its believed that its walls were plastered with lime stone and at present we can see remaining plaster on its wall. Most of the plaster has got eroded over a period of time.

    There are two shrines here dedicated to Lord Shiva known as “ Kshatriyasimha Pallaveshwara” and the other to Lord Vishnu known as “Jalasayanar” or Lord Vishnu is imaged reclining on the snake and this sculpture is also known as “Seshanag”. And in Shiva shirne behind the Linga we can see the sculpture of Lord shiva, “Somaskanda” is portrayed on the wall and I have already described this sculpture on my previous reviews.
    And near to this temple you will also able to see Devi Durga seated on the hind leg of lion.The temple was designed to grasp the first rays of the rising sun and to spotlight the waters after sunset. In the words of Percy Brown, Shore Temple served as “ Landmark by day and beacon by night”

    Other interesting thing is this temple makes the background of Mahabalipuram Dance Festival which is held during the month of Jan/Feb every year. The festival is organized to promote the traditional dance as well as tourism in Mahabalipuram.

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    Rayar Gopuram, Mamallapuram

    by mehulraj Written Nov 23, 2012

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    Rayar Gopuram, Mamallapuram
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    Rayar Gopuram

    Rayar Gopuram as you can see in picture it is unfinished Mandapam at Mahabalipuram and it is believed that the work on the structure stopped abruptly due to some unknown reason. As you can see the carvings on the stone is really mesmerizing and amazing. If this structure would have been completed then it might have been the best Mandapam in Mahabalipuram. And how it got its name that’s also not clear. It has got two pillars in the middle and has image some carving.

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    Ramanuja Mandapam

    by mehulraj Updated Nov 23, 2012

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    Ramanuja Mandapam
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    Ramanuja Mandapam

    As per the literature available it says that the Ramanuja Mandapam was dedicated to Lord shiva and its actually carved in cave during 600 AD. As you can see in picture the walls have nothing on it, not a single trace of actual carvings. Only thing remains intact on this cave is carving on columns and exteriors. And it is believed that the followers of Lord Vishnu destroyed all the carvings on the wall and set up Vishnu temple here during Vijayanagara Emprie

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    Olakkannesvara temple

    by mehulraj Written Nov 21, 2012

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    olakkannesvara temple
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    olakkannesvara temple

    On top of the Mahishasuramardhini cave is a temple like carved structure, which was used as lighthouse in ancient time. It is really interesting to note that in those days of no electricity, the practice was to light fire here in order to guide ships to the ports as this place is on hill. This old lighthouse can be accessed by climbing a few steps and its next to he the present modern Lighthouse. I took the picture of this temple from lighthouse.

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    Somaskanda panel, Mahishamardini Cave

    by mehulraj Written Nov 21, 2012

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    Somaskanda panel, Mahishamardini Cave
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    panel, Mahishamardini Cave

    The central shrine is called “Somaskanda” where Lord Shiva is shown with his wife Uma and his child Skanda and Nandi at their feet and other gods too.. There is another really interesting story associated with this sculpture and the story goes like this:-
    Lord Vishnu prayed God Shiva for kid and Lord Shiva blessed him with a male child called “Kaama” and Kaama is actually god of Love.
    And this led Lord shiva’s wife in fury that Lord Vishnu did not worshipped here and she gave him a curse that Lord shiva will burn his child to death. And to get away from this curse Lord Vishnu created a Image where he included Lord Shiva his wife Uma and Skanda( Somaskanda- symbolic of fertility ) and offered worship to it. Which really pleased here and alleviated the curse placed on him stating that despite being burnt to death, Kaama would live on to create the forces of attraction between the male and the female that would ensure the continuation of human race. Somaskanda is the processional image of Shiva.

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    Mahishamardini Panel, Mahishamardini Cave

    by mehulraj Written Nov 20, 2012

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    Mahishamardini Panel, Mahishamardini Cave
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    Mahishamardini Panel, Mahishamardini Cave

    In this Mandapam on a wall we can see Goddess Durga killing Demon-king “Mahishasura” and this cave might have got its name because of this demon. As we can see on the sculpture Goddess Durga and demon king Mahishasura retreating along with his his army of demons. And the sculpture of Mahishasura is really interesting too instead of having head of a human he has head of Buffalo. And the actual story goes like this:-
    “Mahishasura” was the king of Mahisha or Mahishaka. And according to old legend he is was son of Demon king Rambha who fallen in love with a female buffalo named “Shyamala”( quite a crazy guy ). And shymala had some kind of curse and she became buffalo. And somehow Demon king Rambha took form of male buffalo and got married and had a kid called “Mahisha” again a demon and he was hybrid kid born with head of a buffalo and body of a human. And according to legend he had power to take any form either a male buffalo or human body. And actually “Mahisha” means buffalo in sankrit language.
    And he was so strong the he won Earth ( where human stays) and Deva loka ( where Gods stays ). So everybody went to Lord Vishnu for help. Then Lord Vishnu suggested them to put all their power in one Human and Goddess Durga was incarnated with the arms and she had all universe power at her disposal to beat demon “Mahishasura”. Ultimately they fought and at the end of fierce fight she got victory over Mahishasura. And this is the reason Goddess Durga got her name “Mahishasuramardini” (The one who killed demon Mahisha).

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    Mahishamardini Cave, Seshasayi Vishnu Panel

    by mehulraj Written Nov 19, 2012

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    Mahishamardini Cave, Seshasayi Vishnu Panel
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    Mahishamardini Cave,Seshasayi Vishnu Panel

    This cave has got three different story carved on. Out of which the popular one which is connected with Goddess Durga and demon called Mahishasura. And on this story this cave has got its name Mahishamardini Cave. The two opposite of the panels are representing “Seshasayi Vishnu “ , and other Mahishamardini and the central cell represent Somaskanda, its for Lord Shiva. It is located at the base of Olakneswara Temple.

    In this Mandapam the carving associated with Lord Vishnu has got very interesting stories associated with it. If you see the sculpture then you will find only five heads of snakes sheltering Lord Vishnu where as according to legend there are thousand snakes. Here Lord Vishnu is shown in deep sleep its also called as Anantasayana ( Ananta means Never ending & sayana means sleep in Sanskrit) on the left side of carving and on the right side we can see two sculptures. They are actually brother named Madhu and Kaitabha and they were demons defeated by Vishnu in fight.
    Actually these two demons bless by Goddess and they were immortal. And actually they went out of their head and challenged Lord Brahma( Creator of universe) for a fight. Brahma knew that he will not be able to defeat them and he asked help from Lord Vishnu who was in Anantasayana during that time, somehow he manages to wake him up and ultimately Vishnu fights with these two demons and some say that fight lasted for some thousands year. At the end Lord Vishnu tricks them and kills them, quite interesting right!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mamallapuram Things to Do

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