Mahabalipuram is an important tourist destination in Tamil Nadu. The place is famous for its shore temples. Temples in Mahabalipuram bear the rich history of the bygone days. Mahabalipuram was the second capital of Gupta Empire. The architectures of the temples bear evidence of the glorious past and the history of the place is two thousands years and is a significant pilgrimage destination.
The place was established in the 7th century when Mamalla, the Pallava king made it a seaport. The beautifully carved temples and its rich history attract the tourists to visit this place of culture and heritage.
The two low hills in Mahabalipuram are 400m from the sea level. There are eleven rock cut temples named Mandapas. There are eight of them in total and among them two are unfinished. The monolith rock cut temples are called ‘Rathas’. The variety of architecture and sculpture of the temples of Mahabalipuram can be seen in the uniqueness that lies in each and every temple. The shore temple takes a different position in the architectural background and history of the state.
In the present condition, the high tide of Bay of Bengal and the sea wind erode the sculptures of the temples. The seven Rathas of Mahabalipuram is also named as ‘Sevem Pagodas’.
The sea facing shore temples serve as holy shrines for the tourists. There are images of Lord Vaishnava and Anantasayi. The Saiva Shrine is another important sight. The entire ancient site is a store house of culture and heritage, where various cultures meet and utters a tale of by-gone times.