Pancha Rathas ( Five Chariots )

Pancha Rathas ( Five Chariots )

Originally uploaded by bratboy76

The Town of Mahabalipuram, was the key port city of the 7th century Pallava Dynasty and it is situated 60 kms south of Chennai. King Narasimha Varman I (AD 630 – 660) was one of the key contributors to the architecture seen here. This town is named after King Maha Bali (Great Bali) who was the son of Prahalada ( an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and born to a father Hiranyakashipu who was a demon who did not accept the Lord as almighty).

Mahabalipuram is famous for its Monolithic ( made in single piece of stone ) Stone Temples that has the architectural fusion of Dravidian, Buddhist and unique Pallava’s own architecture that resembles ancient Egyptian Architecture.

This Monolithic structure is called the Pancha Rathas ( Five Chariots) with names taken from the Pancha Pandava ( Yudhishtra, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva), although there is no proven evidence of any links with the Mahabharatha.

This structure was carved during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I. There is a carving of an elephant statue and lion statue apart from a temple like chariot for Draupadi ( the wife of the Pandavas).

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