Mahabalipuram, derived from -Mamallapuram- is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Mahabalipuram was a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas around 60 km south from the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The name Mamallapuram is believed to have been given after the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I, who took on the epithet Maha-malla (great wrestler), as the favourite sport of the Pallavas was wrestling. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The monuments are mostly rock-cut and monolithic, and constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible. They are constituted by cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots), sculpted reliefs and structural temples. The pillars are of the Dravidian order. The sculptures are excellent examples of Pallava art.
Some important structures include:
* Thirukadalmallai, the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
* Descent of the Ganges - a giant open-air bas relief
* Arjunas Penance - relief sculpture on a massive scale extolling an episode from the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata.
* Varaha Cave Temple - a small rock-cut temple dating back to the 7th century.
* The Shore Temple - a structural temple along the Bay of Bengal with the entrance from the western side away from the sea.
Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) - five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi.
Buses arrive in the centre of the town from either Koyembedu (CMBT) or Tiruvanmiyur (in Chennai) and Kanchipuram. A taxi from Chennai will cost Rs. 600-800 one-way (USD 15 to 20) though the rates are likely to be higher based on the season, cab operator.The drive from Chennai on the East Coast Road is, by Indian standards, a wonderful experience: it is one of the few toll roads in India and maintained well.
>City(s) = Mahabalipuram; State(s) = TN; Country = India.
>Title = Mahabalipuram(Mamallapuram), TN, India - Video.
>Keywords = Mahabalipuram, Mamallapuram, TN, India, Tamil Nadu, South India, Pallavas, Pallava king Narasimhavarman, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thirukadalmallai, Arjunas Penance,Varaha Cave Temple,The Shore Temple,Pancha Rathas (296)