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The Legacy of Pallavas, Mahabalipuram-Part III: Shore Temple

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The Legacy of Pallavas, Mahabalipuram-Part III: Shore Temple
The third and last complex we visited at Mahabalipuram was the much acclaimed shore temple. The shore temple near the seashore of Mahabalipuram is the most visited amongst the group of monuments in Mahabalipuram.
 It was built in the early 8th century (700-728 AD) by the Pallava king Rajasimha. It is located on the shores of the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The temple resembles the Dharmaraja Ratha in design, but unlike the Rathas this is a structural temple and not a rock-cut monolithic structure. The temple is partially eroded due to the salty winds and closeness to the sea.
The main shrine of the Shore Temple is a five-storied pyramidal structure 18 m high and sits on a 15 m square platform which faces east, so that the sun rays shine on the main deity of Shiva Lingam in the shrine. Visitors are allowed only to witness the beauty from outside and are not allowed to enter the temple due to its derelict condition.

The Legacy of Pallavas, Mahabalipuram-Part II: Caves and Sculptures

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The Legacy of Pallavas, Mahabalipuram-Part II: Caves and Sculptures
The second and the largest complex at the Mahabalipuram hosts many cave temples and bas-reliefs.  The monuments in this complex are scattered across on the hillock and one have to walk for more than a kilometer to cover all the monuments. On a shorter visit, do visit the Mahishasuramardini and Varaha cave temples, Descent of the Ganges and the Krishna Mantapa. We started with Olakkannesvara Temple which is built on top of the Mahishasura mardhini cave, it also served as a light house overlooking the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. During the 7th century Mahabalipuram served as a major port for the Pallavas.

Mahishasuramardini Mandapa is a rock-cut cave temple with large exquisitely carved reliefs on its interiors, the prominent ones are the goddess Durga slaying the buffalo headed Mahishasura and on the other side is the panel of Adisesha - Vishnu reclining on the seven hooded serpent. Further on the way are the…