Did you know that Angkor Wat, the intriguing temple complex of Cambodia was inspired by Mahabalipuram sculptures? Some call this places as Vaikuntha, an abode of the preserver of the universe. When you look at the sculptures of Angkor Wat and the ancient temples of Mahabalipuram, you’ll find a number of similarities, sounds interesting right?
In olden times, Indian traders sailed to the South-East Asian countries from the seaport of Mahabalipuram. Khmer King Suryavarman II built this huge complex in the 12th century who was a descendant of Cholas, the rulers of Tamil Nadu. You will find Tamil-Brahmi Inscription and sacred prayers in Sanskrit on the walls of these unique temples. Towards the end of 12th century, it was transformed into a Buddhist temple. Scroll down to embrace our Indian arts on the Group of monuments at Mahabalipuram, the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
1. Sailors named this Shore Temple as Seven Pagodas due to its tall structure
2. A miniature shrine with the Bhu Varaha (Vishnu) image in a well type enclosure of the Shore Temple
3. Durga on a lion with small carved shrine in the Shore Temple
4. Sivalinga with Shiva, Uma and their son Skanda in the Shore Temple complex
5. Pancha Rathas (Pandava Rathas) which is popular for its rock-cut architecture
6. Architectural feature on the Arjuna Ratha in the Pancha Rathas complex
7. Carvings on the Bhima Ratha, Pancha Rathas
8. Olakkannesvara Temple above the Mahishasuramardhini Cave Temple and view of the lighthouse from there
9. Krishna Cave Temple is a testimony to the ancient art of Vishwakarma Sthapathis (wooden sculpture)
10. Pictorial description of the descent of the Ganges and Arjuna's Penance, Krishna Cave Temple
11. Lord Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill in the Krishna Cave Temple
12. Re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Varaha (boar) lifting Bhudevi, the mother earth from the sea, Varaha Cave Temple
You can visit the Crocodile Bank on your way to Mahabalipuram.
Check out the extraordinary Ganesh temple in Pondicherry, 1.5 hour drive from Mahabalipuram.
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Author : Vijaylaxmi Thakur