Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram is a collection of 7th- and 8th-century CE religious monuments in the coastal resort town of Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of Chennai

The site has 400 ancient monuments and Tamil religious temples including one of the largest open-air rock reliefs in the world: the Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna's Penance. The group contains several categories of monuments: Ratha temples with monolithic processional chariots, built between 630 and 668; mandapa viharas (cave temples) with narratives from the Mahabharata and Shaivic, Shakti and Vaishna inscriptions in a number of Indian languages and scripts; rock reliefs (particularly bas-reliefs); stone-cut temples built between 695 and 722, and archaeological excavations dated to the 6th century and earlier.

The monuments were built during the Pallava dynasty. Known as the Seven Pagodas in many colonial-era publications, they are also called the Mamallapuram temples or Mahabalipuram temples in contemporary literature. The site, restored after 1960, has been managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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