Photographer's Note

This is a picture of the once obliterated rock cut Shiva temple in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.

Mahabalipuram lies on the Coromandel Coast which faces the Bay of Bengal. This is an elegant place to watch which a well established sea port was during the 7th and 10th centuries of the Pallava dynasty.
After the decline of the Gupta Dynasty, the pallavas rose to the pioneer in south India. They ruled over from the 3rd century till the end of the 9th century A.D. The best period of their rule was between 650 and 750 AD and this period was called the Golden Age of the pallavas. The pallavas were very powerful. They were profound thinkers.
It was during the rule of the pallavas, great poets, dramatists, artists, artisans, scholars and saints emerged. As one can say that the pallavas are the pioneers and forerunners of new styles both in art and architecture and mahabalipuram is the best place to praise off their skill and talent. New sculptures and unique paintings were innovative and exuberant. This place mahabalipuram itself became their exploring field and they made the best use of the resources. They game a shape and creative energy to what they imagined. It became a dream come true as it witnessed innovations in all styles.

The above picture is of the ‘Ramanuja mantapam’
Originally a rock cut triple celled shiva temple with pillered mantapa in front. Later converted in to a vaishnava mantapa.( the cells, one row of pillars and sculptures obliterated.
Mamalla style. AD 640-674
(Note by department of archeology, southern circle)

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