Mahabalipuram
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Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram
Town
The town of Mahabalipuram
The town of Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram is located in Tamil Nadu
Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram
Coordinates: 12°36?59?N 80°11?58?E / 12.616454°N 80.199370°E / 12.616454; 80.199370Coordinates: 12°36?59?N 80°11?58?E / 12.616454°N 80.199370°E / 12.616454; 80.199370
CountryIndia
StateTamil Nadu
DistrictChengalpattu
Elevation
12 m (39 ft)
Population
(2011)
 o Total15,172[1]
Languages
 o OfficialTamil
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
603104
Telephone code91-44
Vehicle registrationTN-19[2]

Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is a town in Chengalpattu district in the southeastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, best known for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of 7th- and 8th-century Hindu Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram.It is one of the famous tourist sites in India.[1]

Mahabalipuram was one of two major port cities in the Pallava kingdom. The town was named after Pallava king Narasimhavarman I, who was also known as Mahabali. Along with economic prosperity, it became the site of a group of royal monuments, many carved out of the living rock. These are dated to the 7th and 8th centuries: rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), the giant open-air rock relief the Descent of the Ganges, and the Shore Temple dedicated to Shiva.[1][3] The contemporary town plan was established by the British Raj in 1827.[4]

Name

Mahabalipuram is also known by other names such as Mamallapattana and Mamallapuram. The term 'Mahabalipuram' means city of 'great power'. Another name by which Mahabalipuram has been known to mariners, at least since Marco Polo's time is "Seven Pagodas" alluding to the Seven Pagodas of Mahabalipuram that stood on the shore, of which one, the Shore Temple, survives.[5]

History

Neolithic burial urn, cairn circles and jars with burials dating to the 1st century BCE have been discovered near Mahabalipuram. The Sangam age poem Perumpuppa?ai relates the rule of King Thondaiman Ilam Thiraiyar at Kanchipuram of the Tondai Nadu port Nirppeyyaru which scholars identify with the present-day Mahabalipuram. Chinese coins and Roman coins of Theodosius I in the 4th century CE have been found at Mahabalipuram revealing the port as an active hub of global trade in the late classical period. Two Pallava coins bearing legends read as Srihari and Srinidhi have been found at Mahabalipuram. The Pallava kings ruled Mahabalipuram from Kanchipuram; the capital of the Pallava dynasty from the 3rd century to 9th century CE, and used the port to launch trade and diplomatic missions to Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.[]

Mahabalipuram Shore Temple, view from beach

An 8th-century Tamil text written by Thirumangai Alvar described this place as Sea Mountain 'where the ships rode at anchor bent to the point of breaking laden as they were with wealth, big trunked elephants and gems of nine varieties in heaps'.[]

The temples of Mahabalipuram, portraying events described in the Mahabharata, were built largely during the reigns of King Narasimhavarman and his successor Rajasimhavarman and show the movement from rock-cut architecture to structural building. The city of Mahabalipuram was founded by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I in the 7th century AD.[5] The mandapa or pavilions and the rathas or shrines shaped as temple chariots are hewn from the granite rock face, while the famed Shore Temple, erected half a century later, is built from dressed stone. What makes Mahabalipuram so culturally resonant are the influences it absorbs and disseminates. The Shore Temple includes many reliefs, including one 100 feet (30 m) long and 45 feet (14 m) high, carved out of granite.[6]

In 1957 the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture was established to promote and revive the art of making sculptures and temples.[]

Transport

MTC and TNSTC (Villupuram division) operate bus services between Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram and Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Thiruttani etc. MTC's bus services available from various parts of the Chennai include Deluxe and Air-conditioned buses.[7]

MTC bus Routes towards Mahabalipuram

Route Number Start End Via
515 Tambaram Mahabalipuram Vandalore Zoo, Kelambakkam, Thirupporur
568 Adyar Mahabalipuram Perugudi, Sholinganallur, Kelambakkam, Thirupporur
568C Koyambedu Mahabalipuram Vadapalani, Ashok nagar, Guindy, Madhya kailash, Perugudi, Sholinganallur, Kelambakkam, Thirupporur
588 Adyar Mahabalipuram[8] Thiruvanmiyur, VGP, MGM, Kovalam, Thiruvedanthai, Vadanemmeli, Devanery
588B Broadway Mahabalipuram Annasquare, AIR, Santhome, AMS, Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, VGP, MGM, Kovalam, Thiruvedanthai, Vadanemmeli, Devanery

THIS ROUTE IS AVAILABLE ONLY ON SUNDAY AND GOVERNMENT HOLIDAYS

588C Koyambedu Mahabalipuram Vadapalani, Ashok nagar, Guindy, Madhya kailash, Thiruvanmiyur, VGP, MGM, Kovalam, Thiruvedanthai, Vadanemmeli, Devanery
589 Velachery Mahabalipuram SRP Tools, Tiruvanmiyur, VGP, MGM, Kovalam, Thiruvedanthai, Vadanemmeli, Devanery
599 T Nagar Mahabalipuram Saidapet, Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, VGP, MGM, Kovalam, Thiruvedanthai, Vadanemmeli, Devanery
212A Kanchipuram Mahabalipuram Walajabad, Chengalpattu, Thirukazhikundram, Echoor

Climate

Mahabalipuram has a tropical wet and dry climate. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is Aw. The average annual temperature is 28.4 °C. The temperatures are highest on average in May, at around 32.6 °C. In January, the average temperature is 24.3 °C, the lowest of the year. The average temperatures vary during the year by 8.3 °C. In a year, the average rainfall is 1219 mm. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer. The variation in the precipitation between the driest and wettest months is 309 mm.

Climate data for Mahabalipuram
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.9
(84.0)
30.4
(86.7)
32.1
(89.8)
34.4
(93.9)
37.6
(99.7)
37.4
(99.3)
35.5
(95.9)
34.9
(94.8)
34.3
(93.7)
32.0
(89.6)
29.3
(84.7)
28.5
(83.3)
32.9
(91.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 24.3
(75.7)
25.4
(77.7)
27.2
(81.0)
30.0
(86.0)
32.6
(90.7)
32.2
(90.0)
30.8
(87.4)
30.2
(86.4)
29.7
(85.5)
28.0
(82.4)
25.8
(78.4)
24.6
(76.3)
28.4
(83.1)
Average low °C (°F) 19.8
(67.6)
20.4
(68.7)
22.4
(72.3)
25.6
(78.1)
27.6
(81.7)
27.1
(80.8)
26.2
(79.2)
25.5
(77.9)
25.1
(77.2)
24.1
(75.4)
22.4
(72.3)
20.8
(69.4)
23.9
(75.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 20
(0.8)
6
(0.2)
4
(0.2)
11
(0.4)
55
(2.2)
62
(2.4)
92
(3.6)
124
(4.9)
114
(4.5)
240
(9.4)
313
(12.3)
178
(7.0)
1,219
(47.9)
Average precipitation days 2 1 1 2 3 4 6 8 8 13 15 10 71
Source: Climate-data.org[9]

Landmarks

Elephant Reliefs at the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
Krishna's Butterball in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

The town has a collection of 7th and 8th century Hindu religious monuments that has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.[1][3][10] It is on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.[1]

The site has 40 ancient monuments and Hindu temples,[11] including Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna's Penance - one of the largest open-air rock relief in the world.[1][12] The site includes several categories of monuments: ratha temples with an architecture of monolith processional chariots built between 630 and 668 CE; the mandapa viharas with halls and stone roofs with narratives from the Mahabharata, Shaktism and Vaishnavism; rock reliefs particularly bas-reliefs of Shaivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism; stone cut temples particularly those dedicated to Shiva that also reverentially display Vishnu and others, built between 695 and 722 CE; and, archaeological excavations with inscriptions some dated to 6th century and earlier.[10][13] The cave temples and monolithic temples were built during the Pallava Period.[3][10][14] The site is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.[15]

Some important structures include:

  • Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna's Penance - a giant open-air rock relief
  • Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) - five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. Each of these is carved from one single separate large piece of stone.
  • Cave Temples - over ten rock-cut temples dating back to the 7th century. These include the Varaha, Adi Varaha, Krishna, Mahishasuramardini (Durga), Ramanuja, Dharmaraja, Koneri, Kotikal, Panchapandava and others
  • The Shore Temple - a structural temple along the Bay of Bengal with the entrance from the western side away from the sea. Recent excavations have revealed new structures here.
  • Other structural temples including the Olakkanesvara temple and the lighthouse, along with rock-cut features such as the Draupadi's tank and Krishna's butterball
  • Thirukadalmallai, the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The Descent of the Ganges, also known as Arjuna's Penance, at Mahabalipuram, is one of the largest rock reliefs in Asia and features in several Hindu scriptures.

Demography

Shore temple at Mamallapuram

As of 2001 India census,[16] Mahabalipuram had a population of 12,345.[17] Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Mahabalipuram has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 73%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 66%. In Mahabalipuram, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Narendra Modi-Xi Jinping Summit

On 12 October 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had an informal meet at Mahabalipuram. Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping visited places like Arjuna's Penance, Pancha Rathas and Shore Temple and later explained about the sculptures and paintings to the Chinese president. Later both gave a pose in front of Krishna's Butterball.

See also

Literature

  • Lukas Hartmann: Mahabalipuram oder Als Schweizer in Indien. Ein Reisetagebuch. Arche, Zürich, ISBN 978-3-716-01764-7.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mamallapuram, Encyclopedia Britannica
  2. ^ Kathiresan, Rajesh Kumar. "TN Motor Vehicle Registration".
  3. ^ a b c James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8.
  4. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition (1982), Vol. VI, p. 497
  5. ^ a b Sundaresh, A. S. Gaur, Sila Tripati, K. H. Vora (10 May 2004). "Underwater investigations off Mamallapuram" (PDF). Current Science. 86 (9). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 November 2004.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ Ancient Discoveries: Lost Cities of the Deep History Channel
  7. ^ https://mtcbus.tn.gov.in/Home/vehicles
  8. ^ Ramakrishnan, Malavika (25 June 2019). "On board Chennai's longest bus route". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Climate: Mahabalipuram". climate-data.org.
  10. ^ a b c "Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram". UNESCO.org. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ National Geographic (2008). Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations. National Geographic Society. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-4262-0336-7.
  12. ^ George Michell (1977). The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms. University of Chicago Press. pp. 131-134. ISBN 978-0-226-53230-1.
  13. ^ Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Dist. Kanchipuram Archived 29 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Archaeological Survey of India (2014)
  14. ^ "Advisory body evaluation" (PDF). UNESCO.org. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ World Heritage Sites - Mahabalipuram, Archaeological Survey of India (2014)
  16. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 2008.
  17. ^ "Census of towns in Tamil Nadu" (PDF). Census of India. Retrieved 2012.
Sources

External links


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