Mamallapuram, situated on the shore of the bay of Bengal is an ancient sea-side town. The Pillava art at this place emphasizes robust earthly beauty, imbibed with life. The Pallavas have created many marvelous monuments sculptural panels, caves, monolithic rathas and sculptural temples. Mythological episodes, epic battles, demons, gods, animal, all vividly depicted on the wall sculptures are breathtakingly real and artistic. This fantasy was created and architected by the great chirpi Devadapperunthachan. These monumental splendors and the sunny beach attract tourists from all over the world.
Mahabalipuram Mahisasuramardhini Cave
The Mahisasuramardhini cave, depicting the Goddess fighting a demon on one side, and Lord Vishnu’s cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable scooped cave, sure to keep one spell-bound.
Mahabalipuram Krishna Mandapam
The Krishna Mandapam, there is a sculpture on the rock face of one wall - Lord Krishna as the protector of all living beings, presenting man, bird and beast. Krishna Mandapam epitomizes real bliss and presents activities that have changed little with time.
Mahabalipuram Tiger Cave
It is 4 Km north of the main monument complex. It was built as an open-air theatre, where cultural programmers were held during the Pallava period. Though it is very near the sea, the place is serene and calm.
Mahabalipuram College of Sculpture
Here training is given in various branches of temple art and architecture, according to the sirpa sastra. The college also has a display hall, which exhibits beautiful traditional sculptures.
This is a small rock-cut mandapam featuring four panels of fine looking doorkeepers and four interesting bas-reliefs.
The world’s largest base relief measuring 27m x 9m is the pride of Mamallapuram. This huge whaleback shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts and birds and infect, can be said to represent creation itself.
Mahabalipuram Five Rathas
These are five monolithic temples. each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas. Four of the Rathas are believed to have been scooped out of a single rock formation. They are richly carved with art and wall panels depicting many Hindu divinities and royal portraits.
The shore temple Mahabalipuram
This is one of the oldest temples in South India standing on the edge of the sea, enclosed by a row of bulls carved Out of rock. It is said to have been built by king Rajasimha in the later half of the 7th century AD. It is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in the Dravidian style. It has two shrines, one dedicated to Vishnu and another to Shiva. The monuments are floodlit at night and so it is possible to enjoy their beauty after sunset too.
Cave temples Mahabalipuram
The rock-cut cave tradition, represented by more than thirteen caves, was first initiated here by Mahendravarma I. They are known for their simplicity in plan and decoration. Notable on among the cave temples are Konerimandapa, Mahisasuramardhini cave, Varahamandapa, Adi Varaharnandapa, Tirumurthi cave and Krishnamandapa.
Krishna butter ball Mahabalipuram
The huge boulder near the Ganesha Ratha is popularly known as Krishna’s butter ball. It rests precariously on a narrow rock base. Legend has it that several Pallava Kings attempted to move it, but all the kings and their elephants could not shift the boulder even by an inch.