Friday, August 21, 2015

Mahabalipuram - Photo Tour Of Coastal Town With Rich Legacy

Mahabalipuram, fondly called as 'Mahabs' by locals rides with rich history, legacy and was mostly developed by the Pallava rulers. This town is mentioned in the Vaishnava Hymns written between the 6th and 8th Century. However, evidence such as Roman coins and pottery found here states that the town dates back to early Historic times. This ancient historic coastal town  buzzed with activity as this was a busy seaport and it was from here that Indian traders sailed to South-East Asian Countries. The mariners also called it "Seven Pagodas" as there were Seven Pagodas standing tall on the shore, of which, only one survived- the Shore Temple.

The Pallavas were renowned for promoting unique styles of art and architecture and this town stands as a fine example with its stunning rock cut or monolithic group of monuments and shore temples. 

The Magnificent Lighthouse with its beautiful tales of a bustling trade hub and a seaport.

Climbing the Light House to see the entire town, the roads, the sea and the breathtaking view of the Shore temple leaves you in awe.

There is a museum adjacent to the Light House which is worth visiting to know more about the port History. Deep Sea buoys are laid to mark shipping channels in the Bays and to prevent mishaps from rocks and wrecks. This Buoy was in use at Gulf Of Kutch.

The temples portrayed scenes from the epic Mahabharata depicting the Descent of the Holy Ganges and Arjuna's Penance. The story mentions Arjuna, one of the Pandava Brothers, performed severe austerities in order to obtain Shiva's weapon.

The following panel of Mahishamardani Cave depicts the battle where Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasura, who was considered unconquerable. The scene portrays Goddess Durga riding a lion in pursuit of Mahishasura with a bow and arrow.

The other panel of Mahishamardani Cave depicts Lord Vishnu in Tranquility State on a seven hooded serpent.

One of the many Cave temples in Mahabalipuram.

A village scene from the Krishna Mandapa Cave depicting their daily lives.

Varaha Cave Temples

The following panel depicts Four armed Goddess Durga standing on a lotus under an umbrella. This panel stands for victory over ignorance.

Trivikarma Panel depicting Lord Vishnu  overcoming the Demon king Bali.

The most prominent sculpture of the Varaha Cave is Lord Vishnu in his incarnated form of Varaha lifting Bhu Devi, Mother Earth, from the sea.

The Gajalakshmi Panel representing Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity. She is portrayed with her hands holding a Lotus flower surrounded by attendants and elephants.

Lord Krishna lifting the mythical Govardhan hill to provide shelter to villagers from torrential rains showered by Lord Indra.

The Massive Natural rock boulder,  popularly known as Krishna's Butter Ball, atop a hilly slope is no less than a wonder. It does a perfect balancing act defying all rules of Gravity.

Trimurti Cave temple- This is believed to be dedicated to the three Lords- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

The view of Bay of Bengal from the Shore temple.

The Shore Temple, is the only temple of a series of seven temples and the remaining now submerged in the sea.

The Pancha Rathas, perfect examples of Dravidian style architecture are monolithic rock cut temples.

Monolithic Five Rathas or Chariots dedicated to the Five Pandava Princes.

5 km from Mahabalipuram towards Chennai is the Tiger Caves.

Apart from the stellar monuments, there has been proof of many other monuments that have been submerged under the mighty Bay Of Bengal.


  1. Wow.. beautifully captured...

  2. Ram and Reshma

    Nice blog. Reading the posts slowly one by one
    Which one is the 15th picture. I doubt it is Raya Gopura of Melukote
    May be I am wrong

    1. Thanks a bunch, glad to know you like our blog. You are correct the 15th pic is Rayar Gopuram.