I always loved old temples. They transported me to a different world altogether. I liked the sculptures. I liked the feel of being inside them. These rock cut temples are cool even in the hot sun. Plus needless to mention that they are grand and beautiful. No wonders these temples always have had a very deep impact upon me. So when the opportunity of visiting Mammallapuram came my way, I instantly grabbed it. I had heard a lot about the sculptures of Mammallapuram and I didn’t wish to miss this opportunity. So I was at Mammallapuram amidst the rock cut temples which I love.
Mammallapuram was one of the most important ports in the times of the kings Pallava dynasty. Pallava dynasty ruled this town between 6th and 8th centuries. All the magical temples at Mammallapuram are the creations commissioned by the great Pallava kings Narasimdhavaraman Pallava and his descendant Raja Simhavarman. As I entered the temple complex I thanked its patron for leaving behind such a great legacy in stones. Its beauty, its symmetry is unmatched even today. Inspite of all the modern technology which we possess we can not create the structures with that finesse and grandeur.
The temples at Mammallapuram are at least one thousand years old. The shore temple at Mammallapuram is one of the most famous temples. However many of the carvings on its outer walls have disappeared. The wind and water has eroded them in the course of passage of thousand years. However whatever remains is stunning too. The bas relief which is popularly called Descent of Ganga left me in awe. Such was its impact upon me. The Descent of Ganga is also known as Arjuna’s penance. Indeed the craftsmen of those time knew how to create emotions in stones. I mentally bowed to them. Their craft had left a deep impact upon me.
Pancha Ratham is the place which should be visited by every person who loves Indian architecture, especially old Indian architecture. The words Pancha Ratham literally means five chariots. What is special about it is that it has five mandapas built in five different styles. I danced in ecstasy as I stood in the mandapas. Such was the impact of visit to Pancha Ratham.
There are many cave temples in Mammallapuram as well. Let me tell me each of them is beautiful. Some of them charge rupees ten for the Indian tourist. Foreign tourists are charged slightly more. But let me tell you every penny that you shelve out to watch these temples is worth it.
The impact of visiting these temples is manifold. Firstly you start respecting your country and its culture for the great knowledge of architecture which they possessed. Also you find a great serenity by visiting these temples, which you will not mind by visiting any modern architectural marvel. Aren’t these reasons enough to visit Mammallapuram.
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