Tamil Nadu, South India

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, South India

shore-temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadushore-temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram is just 55 Kilometers off Chennai (Madras), the capital city of Tamilnadu and forms a major excursion destination around it. Mahabalipuram that was formerly known as Mamallapuram and is one of the most popolar tourism destinations in Tamilnadu.  Mahabalipuram along with Chennai and Kanchipuram forms the famous 'Tourism Triangle' ashore Coromandel Coast.

Video on Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram)

Mahabalipuram is a 7th century port city of the Pallavas, a Dravidic dynasty that once ruled over the major portion of India . Some say that it has been named after the demon king Mahabali who was renowned for his generosity. Some maintain that it has been named after the Pallava king Mamalla. Mahabalipuram has various historic monuments built mostly between the 7th and the 9th century. The majority of these temples and monuments have been built by one or another Pallava kings. Kings of later dynasties too have done some additions and restoration works.

The most famous and magnificent monument here is the Shore Temple. Although the religious activities in this temple have been discontinued way back in the late 19th century, the temple attracts a lot of tourists everyday. Due to the architectural and heritage value attached to it, The UNESCO has crowned this historical city as a 'World Heritage Site'. This temple looks absolutely facinating when lit by moonlight.

Most of the monuments here are rock-cut and monolithic. These temples are very different from the later-Dravidian era temples that were built in the reign of the famous Chola kings Raj Raja and Rajendra Chola. The temples of Mahabalipuram will thus offer a contrast amidst the high raised 'Gopurams' that are so typical in the south Indiantemples. The temples of Mahabalipuram represent the early phases of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design can be clearly seen.

Cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots), sculpted relief and structural temples are something that is found in the ruins of Mahabalipuram. The pillars are of the early Dravidian order where as the sculptures are predominantly Pallava in their architecture. The majestic Mahabalipuram invokes a certain kind of mystery, with its sculptural extravaganza depicting strong artistic temperament of the Pallava rulers who are considered by many as the conceivers and the driving force behind the Dravidian art movement.

Nearby place to visit Covelong Beach (Kovalam)The charismatic spot of Covelong Beach (Kovalam) is at a distance of forty kilometers from the capital city of Tamil Nadu Chennai. The tourists and the travelers throng the quiet village in numbers. The Vibrant village of Covelong Beach (Kovalam) is renowned for its fishing activities. In the fishing village the swaying palms and the beautiful beach atracts people from across the globe. The environs, ambience, peace, tranquility and the infrastructure at the Covelong Beach (Kovalam) beach come together to make it one of the most popular beach resorts on the Coromandel Coast. In the old days Covelong Beach (Kovalam) was the renowned port of the Nawabs of the Carnatic. On digging the past it is revealed that Saadat Ali, Nawab of Carnatic, built the ancient port of Covelong Beach (Kovalam). In the year 1746 Covelong Beach (Kovalam) was taken over by the troops of the French General Laboudonnais and in 1752 destroyed by Clive.

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This webpage is part of Mahabalipuram Travel Guide or Mahabalipuram Tourist guide giving information on Mahabalipuram Tourism and Tourist Places in Mahabalipuram.


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