Much closer to madras lies an architectural and heritage site much older and rich in history than madras. Mahabalipuram may seem like worn out picnic spot 🏕️ for the people in madras but it is an unending treasure trove of history.
Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is a historic city and UNESCO World Heritage site 🏛️ in Tamil Nadu.Ancient mariners considered this place the land of the Seven Pagodas. There are others who think that Mahabalipuram suffered from a great flood between 10,000 and 13,000 BCE. Many opinions exist about the origin of the name of the site too. The most popular explanation is that the place is named after benevolent King👑 Bali, also known as Mahabali. “Puram” is a Sanskrit term for a city or urban dwelling.
During the rule of Mahendravarman I (600 CE – 630 CE), Mahablipuram started to flourish as a centre of art and culture 📜 . A significant amount of coins and other artefacts excavated from this region also indicate a pre-existing trade relation with the Romans even before it became a part of the Pallava Empire.
The place boasts of several pallava structures including the The Adi Varaha Perumal Cave Temple, The Trimurti Cave is dedicated to the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva🕉️, The Mahishasuramardini Cave, Yali or Tiger 🐅 Cave, Pancha Ratha (five chariots) -an architectural ode to Mahabharata’s five Pandava brothers, Descent of the Ganges. The Shore Temple located on the beach is considered to be one of the surviving structure of the legendary Seven Pagodas.
All these are complete with intricate stone sculptures which remains an challenge even in this technological era. What mahabalipuram needs is a little makeover from its picinic spot image and to be promoted as the archaeological wonder it is.
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