Land of Pallavas- Mahabalipuram

It was the last days of the great Gupta Empire. A new power rose to southern part of India, in the northern side of Tamil region, establishing Kanchipuram as capital city. It was the reign of Pallavas. Though their presence in South India was prominent from 3rd century AD, as feudal under the Satbahana dynasty , their recognition as king came during 6th century, in time of coronation of Mahendravarman.
Pallavas marvelled in architecture and they led to the transition in Dravidian temple architecture, from rock cut cave temples to stone temples. Soaked in the tranquillity of Coramandel coast, they created architectural wonders on sea shore in their famous port city of Mahabalipuram. The port was later renamed as Mamallapuram, to mark the victory of Narasimha Varman I,who received the title ‘Mamalla’ or the great wrestler, after defeating Chalukyas. Through the span of 6th to 9th century AD, Pallava kings patronised the creation of rock bass reliefs and built several monolithic temples, from cave temples to stone Rathas. Centuries before the creation of Angkor Wat ,Pallava sculptors created these masterpieces with intricate details in India.Later, their lineage spread to Cambodia and other south east Asian country and influence of Pallava architecture style is prominent in Angkor Thom relics and Angkor Wat temple complex.
If you want to appreciate their architectural extravaganza, your destination is Mahabalipuram ( south of Chennai) where Mahabalipuram Group of Monuments are designated UNESCO World Heritage Site within India. Most famous one is the shore temple complex, which is believed to host two of seven chariots that were built along the coast and remaining five of them are under the sea.

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