Shore Temple Mahabalipuram

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2016

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Visited Shore Temple way back in 2003. This was my second visit. Still looked as nice. Actually better this time. U see overview. This temple is an eg of masonry temple of Rajasimha''s time. The Vimana top here is somewhat narrow and elongated unlike that of the Kailasanatha temple Kanchipuram.

Tiger''s Cave is a rock-cut shrine of Durga approached by steps, has a small portico in front and is flanked by 2 pilasters supported by rampant lions. All around the cell are large lion-heads.

Shrine can be assigned to the time of Rajasimha.

In good old days people would run up the rock. U see driver Velu trying to run up.

A bit ahead is ATIRANACHANDA CAVE. Since there is a Nandi outside must be a Shiv Temple. Left of pic u see some carving, close up in next pic.

This looks like a war scene. Left of pic shows man with bow on a animal. Right is man with a animal face.

Shore Temple board. This temple marks the culmination of the architectural efforts which began with monolith rathas and cave temples.

Side view of temple from south side. Left is a small gopuram ie a entrance to the main shrine that faces the east.

View from north side. In front is a Miniature shrine, a recent excavation. Temple built by RAJASIMHA (700-728A.D.)

Somaskanda panel. Inside small gopuram - Shiva & Parvati with son Karthikeyan. Left is Brahma. Right is Vishnu.

Side view western side of gopuram. As you can see images are not clear.

A rear view of the temple. Beyond the railing u see person who is removing footwear to enter sanctum where is a broken Siva-linga.

Close up of linga. Rampant lions at corner of temple and elsewhere are almost obliterated by the destructive agency of continous spray of sea-water.

Pathway called the perambulatory passage between the temple and outer wall. Note design.

Behind this shrine but connected with it and provided with a small porch is a cell without a superstructure, wherein is enshrined a figure of Seshasayi Vishnu.

Side view of temple taken about 9 am by which time sun was out and bright.

Close up of main vimana. Caption details taken from booklet published by the Archaeological Survey of India. Thanks. Copyright lies with them.

Close up of stone images of Nandi. In most parts they are around the temple even today.

View from northern side. This miniature shrine is a recent excavation. Not sure what animal is in background.

Two girls one of whom you see came so beatifully dressed that had to request them to let me click.

Outside the stone wall on which u see nandis, is a dhvaja-stambha (emblem-column), an essental feature in all temples. U see an expansive courtyard ie partly surrounded by an unfinished enclosure, along which rows of sculpted Nandi are arranged.

Lion - look at the hole in body, end of that is a carving. How did our ancestors do that.

After visiting the Shore Temple walked upto the beach. Saw many shops like what you see, selling shell products. Particularly liked this one.

Met this lady selling malas. She spoke very good Hindi and English. Asked how come, replied it is all business. If have to sell know language of customers. Asked permission to take a pic, said no buy something from me which I did. Quite a sporting lady. The two malas I bought made of shells - local material nice.

All over Mahabalipuram saw traditional craftsmen making sculptures. Today they use machines as well. To see pics of 5 Rathas Mahabalipuram Click here

Some of the products on display. To see pics of Pattadakal Temples, considered to be cradle of temple architecture Click here

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