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You can easily spend a full day exploring Kanchipuram and Mamallapuram's marvellous temples, caves and rock carvings. Most were carved from the rock during the 7th-century reign of Pallava king Narasimhavarman I, whose nickname Mamalla (Great Wrestler) gave the town its name. Official Archaeological Survey of India guides can be hired at sites.
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7/16/2020 - 6/21/2024
Monday - Sunday : 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Queen Victoria Statue
30/A, Nrupathunga Rd, Ambedkar Veedhi, Sampangi Rama Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001, India
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Of South India's five Shiva temples associated with the five elements, this 12-hectare precinct is the shrine of earth. You enter beneath the 59m-high, unpainted south gopuram, whose lively carvings were chiselled in 1509 under Vijayanagar rule. Inside, a columned hall leads left into the central compound, which Nandi faces from the right. The inner sanctum (Hindus only) contains a lingam made of earth and a mirror chamber whose central Shiva image is reflected in endless repetition.
We will visit the magnificent temple of Kailasanathar Temple from Pallava times. Kanchipuram was the capital of the medieval South Indian Kingdom of Pallavas. The Pallavas were instrumental in the transition from rock-cut architecture to stone temples. We will appreciate these architectural wonders built in 600 AD.
Huddled together at the southern end of Mamallapuram, the Five Rathas were, astonishingly, all carved from single large rocks. Each of these fine 7th-century temples was dedicated to a Hindu god and is now named after one or more of the Pandavas, the five hero-brothers of the epic Mahabharata, or their common wife, Draupadi. The rathas were hidden in the sand until excavated by the British 200 years ago. Ratha is Sanskrit for 'chariot', and may refer to the temples' form or to their function as vehicles for the gods. It's thought they didn't originally serve as places of worship, but as architectural models.
We also visit Arjuna’s Penance, a 100 feet x 45 feet bas relief where an entire masterpiece from the Mahabharata epic has been carved.
The next halt is at Krishna’s Butterball, a curious sight of a 5 meters diameter ball shaped boulder which is perched precariously on a slope and defies Newton’s laws of gravity!
Standing like a magnificent fist of rock-cut elegance overlooking the sea, surrounded by gardens and ruined courts, the two-towered Shore Temple symbolises the heights of Pallava architecture and the maritime ambitions of the Pallava kings. Its small size belies its excellent proportion and the supreme quality of the carvings, many now eroded into vaguely Impressionist embellishments. Built under Narasimhavarman II in the 8th century, it's the earliest significant free-standing stone temple in Tamil Nadu.
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
Product code: 107256P14