Mahabalipuram is situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is must visit destination if you are in the south India. The history of Mahabalipuram dates back to two thousand years, it contains nearly forty monuments of different types including an “open air bas relief” which is the largest in the world, for centuries it has been a center of pilgrimage.
The proper name of the site is “Mamallapuram”, after Mamalla, an honorific of the Pallava King, Narasimha Varman I (630-668), who created the earliest of its monuments. But it is popularly called Mahabalipuram.
Internationally renowned shore temple and other marvellous stone. Close to these is the two spire Shore Temple, which was built in the 8th century. It has shrines to Shiva and Vishnu. Originally much closer to the water, the temples now stand about 100m inland as the waters have receded.
Sri Sthalasayana Perumal Temple
This temple is very near to the bus stand. Here Lord Vishnu without his weapons, the Sanku and the Chakara, and without his customary “bed”, Adi Sesha, is somehow a humbling experience. Lying on the ground with one hand supporting his head and the other raised up in the traditional gesture of invitation, the Lord somehow sems defenceless, though the rational mind says this is not true. Of course, It is only a posture he has assumed to make it clear how accessible he is to the true devotee. In this case, Sage Pundarika, a great devotee o Lord Vishnu. The temple being referred to is the “Sthalasayana Perumal”, which has been described by the Azhwars as “Kadalmallai”. The goddess here is “Nilamangai”, the goddess of the earth.
Thirukadalmallai is one of the 108 Vaishnavite Divya Desams sung of by the Azhwars. It is also athe birthplace of Bhothathalwar, one of the earliest of the Alwars.
Pancha Pandava Rathas
The Pallavas had perfected the art of sculpting rocks to build temples without using brick, mortar, or timber and the five monolithic rathas (Chariots) reflect this art at it’s best. These five rock temples which have been named after the Pandava brothers, the heroes of the Great Indian Epic Mahabharatha.
The Rath Temples are among the most famous temples in India partly for their age and partly for their quirky architecture. These pallava temples were carved out of huge rocks and though the coarse sea air is taking its toll and some of the structures were left incomplete, they attract scores of visitors every year. They have all the characteristic features of a south Indian temple like gopurams, a pillared hall, and sculptures on the walls.
Sri Vedagririswarar Temple is situated on the top of a hill. It is famous for its temple when two kites are fed daily around noon by a temple priest. Legend has it that these3 two birds are actually saints who to test at the temple on their flight between Varnasi and Rameshwaram.
There is also a larger Siva temple in the town below. At the south-east end of the town is a spacious tank whose waters are said to have curative powers. Once every 12 years, a conch is discovered in this tank and thousands of devotees flock to bathe in the tank at this auspicious time. A collection of the conches is displayed in the largest temple.
This ancient Murugan temple dating back to the Pallava period and is one of 33 major temples in Tamilnadu dedicated to the worship of Lord Muruga.
Melmaruvathur Sri Adi Parasakthi temple
This temple is 36 km from chengalpet. Devotees are permitted to enter into the Garbha Griha (inner Chamber) and pray to the goddess.
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