Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram or Seven Pagodas , is a town 85 kms north of Pondicherry on the Coromandal Coast (south east) of India.
It was a bustling and important sea port of the Pallavas who ruled over much of South India from as early as the first century B.C to the eighth century A.D.
At Mamallapuram ships rode at anchor bent to the point of breaking , laden as they were with wealth, big trunked elephants and gems of nine varieties in heaps.
It is now recognized as the site of some of the greatest architectural and sculptural achievements in India and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Mahabalipurmam got its name from demon mahabali.It is believed that Mahabalipuram was renamed to Mamallapuram after the Pallava King Narsimha Varman I who went by the name Mamallan because of his great wrestling skills. Pallava kings made Mahabalipuram their capital and brought new artistic styles to the culture.Another name by which Mahabalipuram has been known to mariners , at least since Marco Polo’s time is Seven Pagodas alluding to the seven pagodas that stood on the shore.only one of them survives caleed the shore temple.
The temples of Mamallapuram portray events described in the Mahabharata and show the movement from rock cut architecture to structural building.The mandapas or pavillions and the rathas or shrines shaped like chariots are monolithic -hewn from one granit rock face , while the famous Shore Temple erected half a century later is built with dressed (cut blocks) stone.
Places we visited: