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Mamallapuram
 


Mamallapuram is situated on the shore of Bay of Bengal. "Mamalla" means "great warrior" and this title was given to Narasimha Varman I., who built many temples there. The town was named after him. This town was an ancient port of the Pallavas kings, who ruled from Kanchipuram from the 4th to the 8th centuries.

The former name of the town - Mahabalipuram - was related to mighty king Bali. Mahabalipuram literary means "the great town of king Bali". Vamanadeva, the Draft-incarnation of the Lord, begged three steps of land from him and in this way regained the whole universe for the demigods...

(By clicking on images you will get three times bigger ones in new window)

three times bigger image in new window Mamallapuram is frequently visited town in South India. It is known because of its temples carved into granite hills. Temples, monuments and statues were carved mostly from 5th to 8th century.
three times bigger image in new window Shore Temples, built in 7th century, are about 1 km from the town. East Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva with Shiva-linga and in the other there is 2,5 m high Mahavishnu Deity lying on Ananta Sesa carved onto a granite boulder. Lord Vishnu's pastimes are carved on the outer wall of the Vishnu temple.
three times bigger image in new window A wall has been built around these temples to protect them from the ocean.
three times bigger image in new window Even the present day sculptures are masters of their art...
three times bigger image in new window Their works are being sold in nearby sculpture shop. If you are interested, you can take two-week course in local School of Sculpture and create your own piece.
three times bigger image in new window Dance Festival is held every January/February. At the end, people used to go take bath on this beach.
three times bigger image in new window The sea can be sometimes choppy and the swimming in some places near Shore Temples can be dangerous because of sea currents. Therefore it is better to ask local people where to take bath.
three times bigger image in new window While touring the area of Mamallapuram one can find really beautiful places.
three times bigger image in new window Mamallapuram is peaceful place with the pleasant atmosphere, where one can stay for longer time and rest. From the rocks one can see the ocean, look at grazing goats and nasty monkeys.
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Rocks at Mamallapuram.

14 km west of Mamallapuram is place called Tirukkalukundram. It means the "Hill of the Sacred Kite" This place is famous because of two birds that have come here to eat almost every day for hundreds of years. The priests prepare food and offer it to the Shiva-linga Then he puts the rice in two silver pots and the birds come and eat it...

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...It is said that these two birds are two sages who were cursed by Lord Siva. It is believed that they have their bath at Varanasi, their food here, their rest at Cidambaram, and they worship at Rameswaram. Sri Chaitanya also came here 500 years ago.

- Seashore near Mamallapuram.

three times bigger image in new window Sunrise above the Bay of Bengal in Mamallapuram is usually very beautiful...
three times bigger image in new window ...and the sea is peaceful.
three times bigger image in new window Sunset.
Mamallapuram is situated in South India in Tamil Nadu province.

English texts, selection of images, design:
Tattva-darsi das
Most texts are based on the information from Jada Bharata's book Holy Places of India,
which contains many additional information useful for travelers. It can be found on:
www.spiritualguides.net

Photographs from their travels:
Radha-raman das and Pavan-suta das

 

Published:
March 2002
 
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