Difference between revisions of "Mahābalipuram"

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
(As Archaeological Site)
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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
 
<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
  
==Historical Significance of Mahābalipuram==
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Mahābalipuram is also known as Māmallāpuram. It is a famous place of archaeological monuments situated at a distance of 50 km (31 miles) to the south of Chennai.
===As an Archaeological Site===
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Mahābalipuram is also known as Māmallāpuram. It is a famous place of archaeological monuments situated at a distance of 50 kms. (31 miles) to the south of Madras or Chennai.
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===As a Port City===
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It was an important port-city during the early Christian era and maintained trade relations with many countries like the ancient Rome, Persia and China. Old coins of these countries have been found at this place.
 
It was an important port-city during the early Christian era and maintained trade relations with many countries like the ancient Rome, Persia and China. Old coins of these countries have been found at this place.
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It also became an important religious center during the period of Narasimha Varma, a Pallava king (circa CE 630-668). Since he was known as Māmalla, the city too got the name after him.
  
===As a Religious Center===
 
It also became an important religious center during the period of Narasimha Varma, a Pallava king (circa A. D. 630-668). Since he was known as Māmalla, the city too got the name after him.
 
 
==Significant Monuments==
 
 
The most important monuments at Mahābalipuram are:
 
The most important monuments at Mahābalipuram are:
 
# Shore temple
 
# Shore temple
 
# Five rathas or monolithic temples
 
# Five rathas or monolithic temples
 
# Relief figure of Arjuna, Pāṇḍava hero, doing penance by the side of a river, carved on a big rock
 
# Relief figure of Arjuna, Pāṇḍava hero, doing penance by the side of a river, carved on a big rock
# Few cave temples containing the images of Viṣṇu, Varāha and Durgā as Mahiṣamardinī
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# Few cave temples containing the idols of Viṣṇu, Varāha and Durgā as Mahiṣamardinī
  
 
==Shore Temple==
 
==Shore Temple==
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Apart from the shore-temple, the rathas<ref>Rathas are chariot-like temples.</ref> are of great importance. Five of them stand in the names of the four Pāṇḍavas, viz., Dharmarāja, Bhīma, Arjuna and Sahadeva. The fifth temple is of their spouse, Draupadī. They  are monoliths of great beauty. Out of these Dharmarāja-ratha is the grandest.
 
Apart from the shore-temple, the rathas<ref>Rathas are chariot-like temples.</ref> are of great importance. Five of them stand in the names of the four Pāṇḍavas, viz., Dharmarāja, Bhīma, Arjuna and Sahadeva. The fifth temple is of their spouse, Draupadī. They  are monoliths of great beauty. Out of these Dharmarāja-ratha is the grandest.
  
There is also a Gaṇeśa-ratha situated at a distance of 1.2 kms. (3/4 of a mile) to the north of the other rathas.
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There is also a Gaṇeśa-ratha situated at a distance of 1.2 km (3/4 of a mile) to the north of the other rathas.
  
 
==Sthalaśayana Perumāl Temple==
 
==Sthalaśayana Perumāl Temple==
 
There is a temple of Sthalaśayana Perumāl. In this the deity Viṣṇu is in the reclining posture. Here the worship is continued till  today. It is an old temple expanded during the times of Vijayanagar empire. Bhuta Ālvār, one of the three earliest Ālvārs, was born in this place.
 
There is a temple of Sthalaśayana Perumāl. In this the deity Viṣṇu is in the reclining posture. Here the worship is continued till  today. It is an old temple expanded during the times of Vijayanagar empire. Bhuta Ālvār, one of the three earliest Ālvārs, was born in this place.
 
  
 
==References==
 
==References==

Revision as of 07:51, 17 November 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Mahabalipuram, MahAbalipuram, Mahaabalipuram


Mahābalipuram is also known as Māmallāpuram. It is a famous place of archaeological monuments situated at a distance of 50 km (31 miles) to the south of Chennai. It was an important port-city during the early Christian era and maintained trade relations with many countries like the ancient Rome, Persia and China. Old coins of these countries have been found at this place. It also became an important religious center during the period of Narasimha Varma, a Pallava king (circa CE 630-668). Since he was known as Māmalla, the city too got the name after him.

The most important monuments at Mahābalipuram are:

  1. Shore temple
  2. Five rathas or monolithic temples
  3. Relief figure of Arjuna, Pāṇḍava hero, doing penance by the side of a river, carved on a big rock
  4. Few cave temples containing the idols of Viṣṇu, Varāha and Durgā as Mahiṣamardinī

Shore Temple

It is in the Draviḍian style. It is of solid stone masonry. Originally, it had a massive wall surrounding it. Now, only some of its remains are seen. It is remarkable that this temple with two vimānas (small towers) has successfully withstood the fury of the waves of the ocean and the vagaries of treacherous weather for over twelve centuries.

There are actually three shrines here, two Śaiva and one Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava temple depicts Viṣṇu lying on the serpent Ananta.

Ratha Temple

Apart from the shore-temple, the rathas[1] are of great importance. Five of them stand in the names of the four Pāṇḍavas, viz., Dharmarāja, Bhīma, Arjuna and Sahadeva. The fifth temple is of their spouse, Draupadī. They are monoliths of great beauty. Out of these Dharmarāja-ratha is the grandest.

There is also a Gaṇeśa-ratha situated at a distance of 1.2 km (3/4 of a mile) to the north of the other rathas.

Sthalaśayana Perumāl Temple

There is a temple of Sthalaśayana Perumāl. In this the deity Viṣṇu is in the reclining posture. Here the worship is continued till today. It is an old temple expanded during the times of Vijayanagar empire. Bhuta Ālvār, one of the three earliest Ālvārs, was born in this place.

References

  1. Rathas are chariot-like temples.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore