"From an archaeological perspective, maybe the tsunami was good. The shore temple is a symbol of the ancient ruins of Mahabalipuram. In one more twist of fate, the tsunami’s ferocious waves have also positively impacted on the temple, the archaeologists report. It was constructed as a work of art. Mahabalipuram, capital of an ancient kingdom and famous for its elaborate Hindu temples, escaped mostly unscathed, with only three dead and limited damage. All Rights Reserved. At present, Shore Temple is made the background of the Mahabalipuram Dance Festival which is held in January/February every year. Spread across nearly a mile, the site was encrusted with barnacles and covered in mud. It is home to dozens of Hindu temples, baroque stone structures often covered with carvings. They record how a large and attractive city once stood on the site, but that it was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day. The temple, a World Heritage site, represents some of the earliest-known examples of Dravidian architecture dating back to the 7th century AD. This is a town made for legend. A Sangam period Murugan temple unearthed at Mahabalipuram was discovered by a team of archaeologists from the ASI based on clues found in a rock inscription left exposed by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The most famous shore temple of Mahabalipuram was the worst hit during the 2004 tsunami. The Shore Temple is no more a living temple. Click here to subscribe. The killer waves shifted thousands of tonnes of sand to uncover granite sculptures which archaeologists claim, are remnants of a seventh-century civilisation. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. And there's something else the tsunami gave back - tourists, drawn by heated headlines in the Indian media about a rediscovered Atlantis. Archaeologists have begun underwater excavations of what is believed to be an ancient city and parts of a temple uncovered by the tsunami off … In India, 10,700 people are confirmed dead, with more than 5,600 missing. Shore Temple: Must watch - world heritage site! Shore Temple is no more a temple worshipped. It is an architectural beauty standing tall by the beach. (CC BY SA 3.0) Remarkable as the Shore temple may seem, it is the six other submerged temples that have gained the most interest. Its beautiful structure is an architectural marvel, which depicts the ancient finesse of art. All of those so far identified are around 6ft tall, and all have the elaborate engravings – of the kind found in the rock-hewn Mahabalipuram temple. ", First published on March 17, 2005 / 4:14 PM. Mahabalipuram, Place that could take your travel to the next level Travel to History with the astonishing views in and out of the Shore Temple and its surroundings. A lot of new perspectives that I discovered, new excavations have revealed stuff and the most significant of them all, hidden underwater temples have come to fore. Shore temple at Mahabalipuram is the most fascinating structure of Mahabalipuram. - See 1,639 traveler reviews, 1,873 candid photos, and great deals for Mahabalipuram, India, at Tripadvisor. However, the strong structure survived the catastrophe with the least damage to … The myths tell of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple – the Mahabalipuram temple – still standing on the seashore. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. They could be part of a temple or a building. Mahabalipuram Tourism; Mahabalipuram Hotels; Mahabalipuram Bed and Breakfast; Mahabalipuram Vacation Rentals "There must have been at least 20," said Sunderasan, a young man, gesturing toward the sea. "Only because of these new things are people coming.". Shore temple is a complex of three temples, one large and two small, located right on the shores of the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram. So officially, researchers express little surprise at what was exposed. "But from a human perspective ..." he said, his words drifting into silence. Further excavations revealed that the 8th-century shrine had been built on the brick foundation of an earlier shrine. "You could see the destroyed walls covered in coral, and the broken-down temple in the middle," said Durai, a sinewy fisherman who, like many south Indians, uses only one name. All rights reserved. And every tourist who heads there, is still told this tale, which is not entirely true. Archaeologists say excavations on shore and at sea were already under way before the tsunami struck, and that divers made promising finds of barnacle-encrusted blocks that appear man-made. Some fishermen insist they saw more than the six vanished temples when the waters fell back. On sunny weekend days hundreds of people now come to take a look at the carvings and splash their feet in the ocean. Once upon a time, in the first century A.D., it was a tiny port town bustling with life. The operator gave us a history glimpse of Mahabalipuram shore temple which were 7 in total and over time 6 of them submerged in the deep while the last and existing one was seen. The news made international headlines. But a few hundred yards away, something else came to the surface. Tourism is a major employer here, a reflection of a spreading Indian middle class, and the coast road is lined with mom-and-pop resorts and cheap restaurants. 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According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Shore Temple: Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram in a day from Chennai with Guide & pick up drop (From US$135,00) An extraordinary - UNESCO Monuments Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai (From US$42,62) Full-Day Guided Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai with Lunch (From US$115,00) The other six temples are thought to have been submerged under the sea. For the past three years, archaeologists working with divers from India and England have undertaken surveys stretching 1km into the sea and have identified underwater remnants likely to belong to the ancient port. This temple was built entirely of granite blocks. *Some works at Mahabalipuram, such as Arjuna’s Penance and possible our rock-cut Vishnu as well, were designed to ‘perform’. But legend speaks of its most famous temples: the Seven Pagodas, named for the vaguely pagoda-like style of Hindu temples in this part of India. The Shore temple is the only standing temple on board. "People are coming to see what the tsunami dug up," said Timothy, who sells sea shells and plastic palm trees at a beachside souvenir stand. Locals and tourists have flocked to see this statue since shortly after the tsunami. The Shore Temple which was built during 700 - 728 AD has stood the test of times. In the present day, Shore Temple makes the background of Mahabalipuram Dance Festival held annually in January/ February. January 3, 2005 One of the monuments that survived the tsunami was the shore temple of Mahabalipuram (named after Mahabali of Onam festival or Pallava king Mamalla). After the recession of the coastline following the tsunami, archaeologists identified several stone structures buried in the sand close to the Mahabalipuram temple. The waves that brought such tragedy are thus adding new pieces to the puzzle of Mahabalipuram. Finally he added: "There was a lot of deaths, a lot of damage, a lot of destruction. Archaeologists have dated it to the 7th century (BBC Staff). How did rioters breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6? Archaeologists laugh at the tales of Atlantis and say it may take years of undersea exploration to uncover the truth. Whatever they saw is back under water and out of sight. "The tsunami didn't do very much at all," said Alok Tripathi, who runs the excavations for the Archaeological Survey of India. The structure of the temple was erected basically as a work of art. We are investigating,’ says Dr Sathiamoorthy of Archaeological Survey of India. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. 2. Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is a historic city and UNESCO World Heritage site in Tamil Nadu, India. The Shore Temple of Mamallapuram was built during the reign of the Pallavan king Rajasimha/Narasimhavarman II, and it is the oldest structural temple of significance in South India. It seems to me quite sensible to assume that there are finds to be made out to sea and that a concerted effort in that area will yield useful information.’ The Pallavas, who were known to be great patrons of art wanted to create a temple in their own style of architecture. He wanted us to pay Rs 600 as he tho Those temples, which according to myth are said to have once lined the shore, were so beautiful that the gods destroyed all but one - the so-called Shore Temple, a magnificently carved complex that is now considered a national treasure. According to legends, Shore temple of Mahabalipuram was originally in a group of 7 temples of unparalleled beauty. All of those so far identified are around 6ft tall, and all have the elaborate engravings – of the kind found in the rock-hewn Mahabalipuram temple. The Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temple was built with granite stone and is one of the oldest stone temples in South India. *Some important early artworks, inscriptions and a water-tanks were discovered near the Shore Temple due to the effect that the Tsunami of 2004 had on the landscape. We started sailing towards the shore temple and the view were getting brilliant with outline of shore and the monument. The Shore Temple (built in 700–728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It killed at least 126,000 people in Indonesia and at least 31,000 in Sri Lanka. For a few minutes, after the water had receded far from the shore and before it came raging back as a tsunami, the fishermen stood along the beach and stared at the reality of generations of legends. 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