Ahead of Modi-Xi meet at Mahabalipuram, know more about the famous tourist spot
With all eyes set on Mahabalipuram, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping meets here for the second informal summit, here is all the facts you need to know about the coastal town.
Mahabalipuram is an ancient coastal town in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. Travelling a distance of 60 km along the shores of Bay of Bengal, one can reach Mahabalipuram from Chennai.
Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram, is a town on a strip of land between Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake. It is known for its temples and monuments carved out of rocks built by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries. The temple town embraces cave temples on rock hills, rock sculptures, rock carved temples, and early stone temples.
Mahabalipuram, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is presently under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India.
The town is beautifully decorated with monuments crafted out of single stones/rocks.
Most of the historical characters of Hindu mythology can be seen at this site. The most famous sculpture in Mahabalipuram is the colossal carving of ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ from the Mahabharatha. Arjuna is seen standing on one leg, practicing penance in order to gain Shiva’s divine protection, surrounded by mythical gods and animals.
Another one is Krishna’s Butter Ball, a massive boulder balanced on a small hill, positioned in such a way to make people believe that it might roll down anytime.
Another one is the Pancha Rathas also known as Pandava Rathas or Five Rathas. Each of the five monuments in the Pancha Rathas complex resembles a chariot and is carved out of a single, long stone or monolith of granite. The structures were never completed following the death of King Narasimhavarman of Pallava dynasty, during whose reign, the construction began. The structures are named after the Pancha Pandavas and their common wife Draupadi of epic Mahabharata.
Also the seafront Shore Temple complex which comprises of three ornate granite shrines overlooking the shore of the Bay of Bengal is a main attraction here.
Mahabalipuram can be called as a sculptures’ abode. Most of the native people make their ends meet creating stone sculptures. Gods, historical personalities, animals and much more are being crafted here. These costs from Rs 100 to Rs 10 lakh.
Their main customers are foreigner and resorts. These sculptures are even exported to foreign countries via ships.
Mahabalipuram can be explored on cycles or by walking. There are many things one can see, enjoy and learn in here.
One thing is for sure that even the Chinese president would want to come back here for another visit, if he takes a tour through the town.
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