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'Mahabalipuram' In Tamil Nadu Is A Best Heritage Site... Agree Or Not???

Written by : LifeStyle Team

We are challenging you that you will definitely agree with the title because Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu is filled with numerous architectural sites which are rich in style and makes you stun after looking at their Pagoda type of construction…

Yes, the whole land looks like an ocean full of heritage sites as this place is occupied with Temples dedicated to Hindu shrines. Mahabalipuram is also known as Mamallapuram.

These heritage rich monuments are categorised into five groups and they are:

  • 10 major Rathas - Chariot Shaped Temples

  • 10 Mandapas - Cave Temples

  • 2 Rock Relief’s - A rock shaped into a structure

  • 3 Structural Temples and Excavations

We EeYuva detailed them below… Have a look!!!

Ratha Temples

A Five-Ratha group temples are designed in a north-south axis starting with Dharmaraja Ratha on the North, followed by the Bhima, Arjuna and Draupadi (which share the same platform) and Nakula Sahadeva Ratha. These are the chariot shaped temples dedicated to the legend deities of Mahabharata.


There are a Lion, Seated Bull and an Elephant on the sides of these temples. All the temples have an entrance from the South except for the Nakula Sahadeva Temple which has West entrance. The deities in these temples are Ardhanarishvara (half Shiva, half Parvati), Harihara (half Vishnu, half Shiva), Brahma, Skanda and etc. Another famous Ratha other than these five Pandava Rathas is Ganesha Ratha.


Mandapa in an Indian architecture language refers to an open hall or pavilion for public meetings and all. So this type of rock formed Cave temples is seen in Mahabalipuram. Trust us you will really get mesmerised looking at the beautiful architecture. OMG!!! Words fall short to explain or detail the beauty of this place. Varaha, Kotikal, Dharmaraja, Ramanuja, Koneri, Krishna, Atiranachnada, Adivaraha, Mahishasuramardini, Panchapandava are the ten Mandapas observed in this exotic place.


All these Mandapas are carved with the depicts of Hindu Mythology. Lord Krishna's life story is also inscribed on the stones or rocks of this Manadapas. Other Mandapas include Trimurti Mandapa, Tiger Cave are the renowned Cave Temples.

Structural Temples

These are the free-standing temples unlike Rathas (Which are made out of rock) or Cave Temples (which are formed out of rock carving). Shore Temple is one such Structural Temple and named it so because, this temple faces the shore of Bay of Bengal. This is dedicated to Lord Shiva hence the Lord's vehicle named as Nandi will be seen outside the temple.


This temple looks like a pyramidal tower which is arranged in five tiers with Lord Shiva's iconography. The other two structural temples are Olakkanesvara temple and Mukundanayanar temple.

Rock Relief’s

These are the special form of architecture where the artisan will carve the rock into different shapes. Here in Mahabalipuram, one such rock relief is 'Descent Of The Ganges' which is said to be one of the largest rock relief in Asia.


This rock is carved with Hindu Myths. These inscriptions on the rock have a great history. According to legends, it is believed that the carvings on the rock are the effort needed to bring the Ganges from heaven to earth and the effort of Arjuna to gain the weapon which will bring him good result over evil. But, nevertheless, of any above said statements it is not described anywhere clearly regarding the carvings on the stone.

So, what do you say now??? Did we win the challenge??? Do write your comments below…

(Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

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