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The Shrines In The Shore Temple Mahabalipuram

There are three shrines in the Shore Temple. That facing the sea and another facing west into the township are Saiva. The one between is Vaishnava, with an image of Lord Anantasayi made of live rock. There are Vimanas over the Saiva (also spelt as Shaiv or Shaiva) shrines, but none over the third; it seems to have disappeared with time. There are Somaskanda reliefs on the walls of the Saiva shrine. In front of the eastern shrine there is a stone dhvajastambha, frequently under the waves. The light that shone on it at night must have been the last sight of home for thousands of Pallava citizens immigrating to South East Asia.

The Dhvajastambha and the Balipitha, which normally stand in front of the main shrine, are here located to the west of the shrine. There was a Prakara here, with small Nandis on its walls. Some of the Nandis still stand on the survivals of the walls.

Till some decades ago parts of the temple were under sand. The sea is an ever-present danger. A semi-circular groyne wall has been built to the east. But what is notable is the fact that the temple has survived all these centuries. Built by Narasimha Varman II Rajasimha, the maker of the Kailasanatha temple in Kanchipuram in the 8th century, this is one of the earliest structural temples in Tamil Nadu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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