The Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram was built during the era of the Pallava’s King Rajasimha. That was the period of 7-8 century AD when this temple was built in Mahabalipuram. This temple is one of the oldest temples in Southern India that has structural importance as well. This temple consists of 3 different sanctuaries; all dedicated to deities of Vishnu and Shiva.
The most prominent feature of this temple is its walls, made of granite stone. This temple was built long ago despite years, its beauty always stood on the top.
This temple follows a pyramidal structure and due to which the name of Seven Pagodas was given to it. In the past, 7 temples existed but now, you can only see the Shore Temple out of those 7 in Mahabalipuram.
This Shore Temple is one amongst the Indian World’s heritage site. This temple is 60ft tall, where ocean seeing is one of the best sights to be seen.
Why is Shore Temple so famous?
- Because it is one of the popular UNESCO world Heritage sites of India.
- One of the oldest temples that are left out of the 7 temples built by Pallavas.
- During its time also, this temple was very famous and counted amongst the best of all 7 pagodas.
- Shore temple in Tamil Nadu can best be seen during the months of Indian Dance festival organized by Tourism Ministry of Tamil Nadu where the variation of Indian Dance can be seen easily.
Moving on to History of Shore Temple
A Pallava’s King called Narasimha Varma I, popularly called Mammalla wanted to build a temple and this Shore Temple was the result of his exercises that he did to construct a temple. Due to this, Mahabalipuram was sometimes called Mammalapuram as well.
Not only this Narasimha Varma I contributed to building this temple but another king called Rajasimha Narasimha Varma II also played a major role in building this temple. He helped in constructional procedures at the later stages of development of this temple.
This Shore temple was a part of 7 pagodas and the proof of which could be seen post Tsunami that hit the state in December 2004. This is the only temple left and other 6 are still under the water. Our ASI is taking preventive measures to protect this UNESCO world heritage site.
This temple is located in the prime location of Mahabalipuram. When sailors reach this state, this temple is the first place they would see and get mesmerized.
This temple contains 3 shrines of deities Vishnu and Shiva out of 3, 2 belong to lord Vishnu and one to Shiva. Surprisingly, the walls of shrines contain sculptures expressing living style of people of that period. While visiting this temple, you will see the shrine of Lord Bhu Varaha, who was considered as an avatar of Lord Vishnu. This shrine is located on the north of this temple. You will see a sculpture of a lion with his mouth wide-open to the south side of this temple.
This temple is a must visiting place.