MAHABALIPURAM

Mammalapuram(Mahabalipuram), close to Chennai(madras) about 56 kms, is on the shores of the Bay of Bengal , along the Eastern coast. Mamammalapuram known for its rock carvings and monolithic structures carved out from large pieces of GRANITE STONES has the famous SHORE TEMPLE the only one to have survived the ravages of nature. Temple also known as the PANDAVA CHARIOTS (temples) , six now lie submerged in the sea. PALLAVA DYNASTY 630 AD to 668 AD.

Mahabalipuram, or Mamallapuram, was a port founded on the coast by Narasinghawarman I (around 630–670 A.D.). The site comprises a group of eight rathas. They are not real rathas but stone imitations of wooden shrines, carved in large single rocks.

•MAHABALIPURAM WAS THE SITE OF INITIAL DRAVIDIAN EXPERIMENTATION IN BOTH ROCKCUT & FREE STANDING TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE.(PALLAVA DYNASTY PHASE2) •IT PREVAILED FROM 6TH TO 7TH CENTURY A.D •CITY GAINED ITS NAME FROM NARASINHA VARMA MAMALLA. •MAMALLA OR MAHAMALLA,MEANS “GREAT WRESTLER” •5 MONOLITHIC RATHS ARE NAMED AFTER VICTORIOUS PANDAVA BROTHERS OF THE EPIC MAHABHARATA AND THEIR WIFE DRAUPADI. •THE MAJESTIC LIONS,ELEPHANTS & SACRED NANDI BULL GUARD THE RATHAS.

THE RATHAS ARE:(1) DRAUPADI RATHA (2) DHARMARAJ RATHA (3) BHIMA RATHA (4) NAKUL & SAHADEV RATHA (5) ARJUN RATHA (6) GANESH RATHA (7) VALAINKUTI RATHA (8) PIDARI RATHA (9) SHORE TEMPLE

DRAUPADI RATHA

ARJUN RATHA

DHARMARAJ RATHA

BHIMA RATHA

NAKUL & SAHADEV RATHA

FIVE RATHAS : GENERAL VIEW – NORTH WEST

FIVE RATHAS : GENERAL VIEW – NORTH EAST

a

SITE PLAN OF THE RATHAS f b c d

h g e

1.DRAUPADI RATHA
•1ST FROM MAIN ENTRANCE •SIMPLEST, RESEMBLING A HUT (KUTAGARA VIMANA:-SHRINE WITH ROOFED CHAMBER) •MEASURES 14’*11’*14’.

SHAPE:- SQUARE IN PLAN HAS FEMALE DWARPALS ON EITHER SIDE OF SHRINE, ONE HOLDING A BOW & OTHER A SWORD. FACES WEST, SHARES A TERRACE SUPPORTED BY ELEPHANTS & DEDICATED TO SHIVA & DURGA.

2.DHARMARAJ RATHA (YUDHISHTIRA)
•GRANDEST OF ALL RATHAS •3 STOREYED SHRINE OF SANDHARA ( WITH AMBULATORY ) , ALL STOREYS FUNCTIONAL .THATCHED ROOF. •SQUARE BASE PLAN UPTO 3RD LEVEL & OCTAGONAL IN GRIHA & SHIKHARA, MAKING IT 8 FACED. •DIMENSION: 29’*27’*29’ •ADITALA ( BASE ) HAS 4 CORNER SINHAPADA PILLARS & CARDINAL ENTRANCES.

The shrine is obviously incomplete. It is a larger version of the Arjuna ratha, having an added course on its pyramidal roof. The temple roof, like most in India, is covered with repeating elements . Typically south Indian, the ones here consist of small "model" shrines at various scales of size, false windows, horseshoe-shaped arches, and little "rooflets" which are barrel-shaped when placed on the side of the roof and squared-off when placed on the corner of the roof.

The building is topped by an octagonal-shaped dome, the shikahara In this photo, the west face (entrance) of the shrine is in sunlight. People are scrambling down the shadowed north face to the left.

SINHAPADA STAMBH

THE SPATIAL MANDAL IN THE RATHA

SALA meaning WAGON ROOF

DHARMARAJ RATHA

BHIMA RATHA

3.BHIMA RATHA
•BHIMA SHRINE RESEMBLES BUDDHIST PLACE OF WORSHIP-A BARREL LIKE ROOF WITH CURVED VAULT, STUDDED WITH SMALL HORSE SHOE WINDOWS . •ONE STOREYED, RECTANGULAR IN PLAN & ACCOMODATES THE RECLINING VISHNU IDOL. •IS VARYING INTERPRETATION OF BUDDHIST CHAITYA HALL •DIMENSION:- 48’*25’*26’ •BARREL ROOF CALLED SALA OR WAGON , IS SINGLE STOREYED

The large shrine echoes palace architecture with its barrel vaulting and long columned porch. Seated lions are carved in front of the columns. The lower part of the shrine is mostly unfinished, since the excavators naturally worked from the top down.

4. NAKUL-SAHADEV
•2 STOREYED, FACES SOUTH. •FRONT ELEVATION SIMILAR BHIMA RATH. •DEDICATED TO INDRA. •REPRESENTS GAJAPRASTHA (BACK OF AN ELEPHANT ) BECAUSE OF ITS APSIDAL PLAN FROM BASE TO SHIKHAR . •HAS SERIES OF STUPAS ON SHIKHAR RIDGE. •REAR VIEW RESEMBLES HIND QUARTER OF ELEPHANT. •PARALLEL TO ADJACENT ELEPHANT IMAGE, ALSO FACING SOUTH. TO

RATHA

5. ARJUN RATHA
•FACES WEST •ARJUN’S PENANCE : ARJUN IS SHOWN STANDING ON ONE LEG TO PLEASE LORD SHIVA INTO HELPING HIM WIN BACK PANDAVA EMPIRE. •ADJOINS DRAUPADI RATH, SHARES PLINTH WITH IT WHICH HAS ELEPHANTS & LION FIGURES CARVED WHICH SHOWS PALLAVA SYMBOL OF POWER. •THERE IS A MUKHAMANDAPA ( ENTRY HALL ) WITH 2 SINHAPADA PILLARS. •BHUTMALA IS CARVING OF GOBLINS & GHOSTS DONE ON WALLS .

VALAINKUTTI , GANESH & PIDARI RATHAS
•GANESH RATHA RESEMBLES DRAUPADI RATH, A CRUDE VILLAGE LIKE HUT WITH SMALL SHRINE. •VALAINKUTTI & PIDARI RATH WERE LEFT INCOMPLETE .

THE SHORE TEMPLE

•STANDING ALONE ON THE SHORE, PROTECTED BY A WALL TO MINIMIZE EROSION. •THERE WERE ABOUT 7 SUCH SHORE TEMPLES , 6 WERE VICTIMS OF EROSION. •HAS 3 SHRINES , 1 DEDICATED TO LORD VISHNU & THE OTHER 2 TO LORD SHIVA. •FROTHY STRIKING TEMPLE. WAVES FORM A BACKDROP TO THE

•TEMPLE PROTECTED BY ROWS OF ROCK- CARVED BULLS.

BRAHMA CHANDA

NARAPATI SINHA PALLAVA VISHNUGRIHA

TRITALA VISHNU CHANDA

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