The Famous Temple-Mahabalipuram

Topics: Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram, Pallava Pages: 1 (413 words) Published: August 12, 2013
Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram (Tamil: மாமல்லபுரம்) is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram. By the 7th Century it was a Port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet). The modern city of Mahabalipuram was established by the British Raj in 1827.[1] The temples of Mamallapuram, portraying events described in the Mahabharata, were built largely during the reigns of Narasimhavarman and his successor Rajasimhavarman and showcase the movement from rock-cut architecture to structural building. The city of Mahabalipuram was largely developed by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I in the 7th century AD.[2] The mandapa or pavilions and the rathas or shrines shaped as temple chariots are hewn from thegranite rock face, while the famed Shore Temple, erected half a century later, is built from dressed stone. What makes Mamallapuram so culturally resonant are the influences it absorbs and disseminates. The Shore Temple includes many bas reliefs, including one 100 ft. long and 45 ft. high, carved out of granite.[3] All but one of the rathas from the first phase of Pallava architecture are modeled on the Buddhist viharas or monasteries and chaitya halls with several cells arranged around a courtyard.[4] Art historian Percy Brown, in fact, traces the possible roots of the Pallava Mandapa to the similar rock-cut caves of Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves. Referring to Narasimhavarman's victory in AD 642 over the Chalukyan king Pulakesin II, Brown says the Pallava king may...
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