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Shore Temple

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Legends say that this famed Shore Temple was initially identified as part of the Seven Pagodas at Mahabali puram. It is a very sacred temple and one of the ancient Hindu legends referred to the origin of these pagodas in mythical terms. A story is connected with the history of the temple- Prince Hiranya kasipu refused to worship the God Vishnu. The prince’s son, Prahlada, loved and was devoted to Vishnu greatly and criticized his father’s lack of faith. Later, Hiranya kasipu banished Prahlada but then relented and allowed him to come home. After that the Father and son quickly began to argue about Vishnu’s nature. When Prahlada stated that Vishnu was present everywhere, including in the walls of their home, his father kicked a pillar. In the form of a man, Lord Vishnu emerged from the pillar with a lion’s head, and killed Hiranya kasipu.  Eventually Prahlada became the king, and had a grandson named Bali. Later on, Bali founded Mahabali puram on this site. Mythology stated that Gods were jealous of the architectural elegance of the monuments of Mahablipuram, therefore they caused floods to occur, which submerged most parts of the city, except for a few structures that are seen.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:

The best time to visit the temple is during Sunset and Sunrise as it adds to the charm of the temple. Visitors can carry with them a camera to capture the scenic beauty of this temple. The ticket counter of this temple closes at 5:30 PM.

ENTRY FEES:

For Indian Citizen: Rs. 10

For Kids: Below 15 ears: Free Entry

Foreign national: US $ 5

History

The Shore Temple was constructed in 700–728 AD. This temple got the name- Shore as it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. This temple is a structural temple and was built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. The site was a busy port during the reign of Narasimhavarman II of the Pallava dynasty at the time of its creation. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 as one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram. People say that it is one of the oldest structural (versus rock-cut) stone temples of South India and is a complex of temples and shrines.The shore temple is also one of the most temples.

Architectural Brief

There are basically three temples inside the main premise. And all the three Temples of the Shore Temple complex are built on the same platform. The temples appear to be a replica of the Dharmaraja Ratha if viewed from the northern end. The main Shore Temple faces east because the sun rays shine on the main deity of Shiva Linga in the shrine. It is a five-storied structural Hindu temple rather than rock-cut as it was built with sculpted granite stones hauled from a nearby quarry. Records say that it is the earliest important structural temple in South India. And its pyramidal structure is 60 feet 18 m high and sits on a 50 feet -15 mtr square platform. In front, there is a small temple which was the original porch and that porchis made out of finely cut local granite. According to the recent excavations, it has been revealed that the new structures are under the sand.

Festivals Observed

People celebrate Indian Dance Festival-Mamalla puramhe Mamallapuram every year which is commemorated during Dec-Jan in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu. This famous dance festival is organised by Department of Tourism, Govt. of Tamil Nadu. The proponents of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Mohini Attam and Kathakali perform against this magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures. It is one of the most celebrated and vibrant festivals of dance where tremendous audience enjoys this one month long festival.

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  Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 603104, India