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By Swami Harshananda

Draupadi-ratha literally means ‘the chariot of Draupadī’.

Geographical Location

There are seven rock-cut temples in Māmallapuram or Mahābalipuram near Madras (or Chennai) on the east coast. They are generally called ‘Rathas’ since they resemble a ratha or a chariot in shape. The Draupadi-ratha is also one of them. It is the first on the northern side.


  • It is a simple cell of 3.3 meters (11 ft.) square externally and with a curvilinear roof rising to a height of 5.4 meters (18 ft.).
  • The cell inside measures 1.95 meters in depth and 1.35 meters across (6.5 ft. by 4.5 ft.).


  • On the back wall there is the figure of a female deity (with four arms) and her four attendants.
  • There are also two dvārapālikās (gate-keepers) at the entrance.
  • It is in Pallava style of architecture and belongs to the 7th cent. A. D.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore