Though known as the land of Seven Pagodasm, there is only one remaining today. The five-storied Sore Temple on the sea beach was built by the Pallava King Raja Singha at the end of seventh century in pure dravidian sculpture. This temple was the last work of Pallava dynasty. Guarding the temple are Lion-King Nandi or the row of oxens. Recently, Sore Temple Complex has been enlisted in the recorded history of World Heritage. This is one of the oldest temples in South India.
Cone January and the stones of the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram begin to resound with music and dance rhythms. Dating back to the 8th century AD the temple was built during the reign of Narsimha Varman of the Pallava dynasty.
The tourist guide will tell you many an interesting legend about the building of the temple. Stories that are romantic and yet sad. Stories about man?s ingenuity to carve this magnificent structure, now a World Heritage Site, from solid stone.
The shore temple was built by the Pallava ruler Narsimha Varman II who ruled Narsimha Varman II who ruled in the 8th century AD. The Pallavas of Kanchi were the most important dynasty to emerge from the Tamil country after the decline of the north Indian Gupta Empire. The Pallavas were prosperous rulers with a large portion of their wealth derived from land.
The village of Mamallapuram was the second capital of the Pallava kingdom. It was also an important port.
The Pallavas were originally Jains. The conversion of Mahendra Varman I to Saivism in the early part of the 7th century AD led to its demise from the court. Most of the temples in Mamallapuram are consecrated to Shiva.
While temples throughout India are embellished with figures of deities the shore temple depicts scenes form day to day life-farmers in the fields, women milking cattle, important dignitaries? Scenes you will encounter in real life while moving around the place. Great art is universal and eternal.
An important sculpture Mamallapuram is Arjuna?s Penance. It depicts the story of the emergence of the Ganga from the Himalyas. The panel is flood lit during the dance festival. As the cool sea-breeze blows from the Bay of Bengal India?s well known classical dancers give performances against its backdrop during the dance festival.