The Shore Temple is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal.
Mahabalipuram (also called Mamallapuram) is famous for its shore temples built in 7th century is situated in Kanchipuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu. At a distance of 58 Kms from Chennai, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram.
The Penance Panel was
created by the Pallava king, Mahämalla (Narasi¬ha-I), in the mid-seventh century, A.D. It is the largest of its kind in India.
Siva and the ascetic
Just to the left of the cleft, more than half-way up, an ascetic is standing on one leg, with arms up-raised and fingers interlocked above his head. And to the left of this figure stands the god Siva, who indicates with outstretched hand that he is granting a boon to the ascetic.
You can see the Nagas in the middle of the cleft.
This monolithic granite rock found in Mahabalipuram India, is over 20 feet in height. With its width almost equal to its height, it is looks spherical in some angles but not a perfect sphere. This mysterious rock is known as Krishna’s Butter Ball in the last 50 years, although its original name is “Vaanirai Kal”. It weighs over 250 tons and miraculously stands on an extremely small, slippery area of a hill.
Varaha Cave Temple, an example of Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century, is a rock-cut cave temple located at Mamallapuram.
The mandapa in the front has two lion- pillars and two pilasters, and beyond this in the centre, the cell is guarded by two dwarapalas.
The five monoliths are a tribute to the Pandavas of the Mahabharatha. The Pallavas built five Rathas or chariots for Dharmaraja (Yudhishtira), Bheema, Arjuna, Sahadeva-Nakula and Draupadi. The monolithic temples are known locally as Rathas, as they resemble the processional chariots of a temple.
Panch Rathas were carved out of a single rock and some of them are three-storied (like the Dharamaraja Ratha) and single-storied (like the Draupadi Ratha).