Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chariots Of The Gods - Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram - Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Chariots of the Gods
Wonders in Stone - the stone temples of Mahabalipuram...
Mahabalipuram is a port city  50-60 km south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, South India while travelling along the East Coast Road....and the home of these monolithic temples.
They are also called the 'rathas' or chariots as they resemble wooden chariots of that time.
Built during the Pallava dynasty, these temples, along with the Shore Temple close by, have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But be warned the weather will be hot and humid - any time of the year. It does let up a little in December but just a little.
And what you see in the first picture is all you get. The entire collection of the five rathas is all there in that picture.
You do have the Shore Temple and the Lighthouse close by.
Another bonus is the Crocodile Bank (I'll write a post about that soon) that lies on the Chennai- Mahabalipuram route....this one's a must-see if you have children along.

The five monolithic chariot-temples were cut from one huge sloping rock. The rock was cut into different forms of temples with a few animals thrown around.
There a few unfinished structures too where few of the pillars were left without finishing the carvings.
A few more structures....
another view...

There's the famous shore temple overlooking the Bay of Bengal....
...when we visited it was under renovation hence the scaffolds.....
While the chariot temples were carved out of granite, this temple used dressed stone. This monument is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here are some pictures of the Shore Temple....
 ...you can see an old lighthouse nearby too....been trying to upload the picture but keep getting an error....will put them up ASAP.

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