Monday, October 28, 2013

Lost in the ancient Stone Sculptures, Mahabalipuram,(Mamallapuram)

VISIT :September 2013
STAY : Home Stay , Chennai

My wife and i planned for one day trip to mahabalipuram in last week of September from Chennai. It is one of the UNESCO HERITAGE SITES in India and famous for ancient temples and beautiful Stone carvings. We started in morning to save our self from the scorching sun and humidity. It started to rain shortly after we left Chennai and lasted for half an hour. It took almost an hour to reach Mahabalipuram. We were lucky to have wonderful cloudy weather to explore the Mahabalipuram. 
Our first stop was Shore temple. We bought entrance ticket for RS. 10 and that was valid for other UNESCO sites in mahabalipuram as well.
Shore temple is situated at the shore of India ocean and many of the original temple is perished inside the ocean. From far it was looking amazing with black cloud and sea. I was disappointed to see the present condition of the temple as most of the sculpture is gone due to harsh environmental attack of rough Sea and winds from last 1300 year. The Shore Temple is built with blocks of granite in the 8th century AD.  The temple structures, is severely damaged. Now it has been conserved by the Archaeological Survey of India by building protective trees and chemical treatment. It is not an active temple and there are still status of Vishnu and shivlingam inside the temple.
Reclining Vishnu in shore temple
Reclining Vishnu in shore temple

lingam inside shore temple

Varaha avatar of vishnu in shore temple
Varaha avatar of vishnu

inside the shore temple
inside the shore temple

 Arjuna penanc  in Mahabalipuram
Then we moved to see Arjuna penance and caves. Arjuna penance is big stone with beautiful carving on it. Most of the stone carving is still in good shape. Carving tells the story of  Bhagiratha, who performs terrible austerities  to bring the Ganges river down to earth. Arjuna penanc  in Mahabalipuram  and near by caves

There is few caves near to arjuna penance.  Walls of many caves  are having beautiful carvings. Our guide told us many myths and stories associate with it. 

 caves near arjuna penance with beautiful carvings
Lord Krishna holding the mountain, mahabalipuram
Lord Krishna holding the mountain
Lord Krishna holding the mountain in caves , mahabalipuram
We walk through the small Forrest and stones to reach on the top of arjuna penance. 

View from the top

Famous butter ball of krishna, which is a big rock and supported on very small area at the base.  The rock seems defiance of law of gravity.
There is also a  Trimurti temple near the Krishna butter ball and it surrounded by very big rocks.
trimurthi temple, mahabalipuram 
After spending some time, we went to see last few cave near Arjuna penance before going to Pancha Rathas or Pandava Rathas. It was drizzling and we were enjoying the weather .
Parrot Astrology or Kili Josiyam in mahabalipuram
Parrot Astrology or Kili Josiyam in mahabalipuram
All the caves is having beautiful stone carving of god and goddess. Nose and fingers of many sculpture was broken by invaders to make it unsacred.
Goddess laxmi
Goddess laxmi
Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu
Pancha Rathas  or Pandava Rathas is dating from the 7th century. It consist of five rathas (chariots) and many animal figures (including gigantic Nandi bull and elephant). All the ratha and animals was made from single stone and five different architectural style of India had been used. These marvels was not completed due to sudden death of king but still takes breath away.



Our Mahabalipuram journey ended here,we bought few souvenirs from the nearby shops after the great bargain.

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