Once again on the ECR, when I was in Chennai few months back, on a weekend I visited the world famous Mahabalipuram. This place is widely known as temple caves and is very famous in the South. In fact, most tourists who come to Tamilnadu do make a visit to this place despite the crowd and heat of the summers.
Foreigners throng this place to see the cave temples carved in one whole stone. Despite, being a tourist spot, it has historical relevance and lot of sculptural relevance. Historically, the Mahabalipuram or well known as Mamallapuam was the most famous seaport of the Pallava Kings. The granite blocks date back to sometime in the 7th century BC.
Out of the five cave temples, four of them have been carved out of one rock and it is said that the five Pandavas with their wife Draupadi lived there and the structures represent their rathas or the chariots. It is also said that these structures were carved similar to the five wooden chariots of the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi.
The most beautiful of the lot is the Shore Temple built very close to the sea is an extremely beautiful piece of art, which was basically built with granite blocks. It is said that this temple was once under waters and that it is considered as one of the earliest examples of South Indian Architecture.
These are basically the most important part of Mahabalipuram one should not be missing along the ECR, Chennai Route. Besides, these beautiful structures, one finds several shops that carve wonderful pieces of art being carved alongside the roads leading to the temples and the rathas. Lots of these shops also sell handicraft materials made of shells and they are really tempting. Especially, the colourful shell curtains and the decorative vases.
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