Its beautiful structure is an architectural marvel, which depicts the ancient finesse of art. however in the year 2004, as the Tsunami struck the Coromandel Coast, several tourists and locals claim to have seen six of the submerged temples surface for a brief while. The structure of the temple was erected basically as a work of art. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 2021 Current Publishing. The other six temples are thought to have been submerged under the sea. The tsunami scrubbed away six feet of sand from a section of beach, uncovering a small cluster of long-buried boulders carved with animals, gods and servant girls. In the time of Pallava dynasty, Mahabalipuram was popular trading port. January 3, 2005 One of the monuments that survived the tsunami was the shore temple of Mahabalipuram (named after Mahabali of Onam festival or Pallava king Mamalla). Eyewitness accounts of tsunami relics stirred popular and scientific interest in the site. Maintained by Archaeology department of India. But legend speaks of its most famous temples: the Seven Pagodas, named for the vaguely pagoda-like style of Hindu temples in this part of India. 7 discoveries that changed the archaeological world. This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 10. According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Shore Temple: Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram in a day from Chennai with Guide & pick up drop (From US$135.00) An extraordinary - UNESCO Monuments Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai (From US$42.62) Full-Day Guided Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai with Lunch (From US$115.00) He wanted us to pay Rs 600 as he tho The Shore Temple is one of four primary locations worthy of exploration in and around Mahabalipuram, which include: Tiger Cave (4km north of the town) Central Monuments (immediately west of the town) Shore Temple (a very short walk east of the town) Pancha Rathas (1/2km south of the town) The Shore Temple was built between… At present, Shore Temple is made the background of the Mahabalipuram Dance Festival which is held in January/February every year. The myths tell of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple – the Mahabalipuram temple – still standing on the seashore. So officially, researchers express little surprise at what was exposed. Some fishermen insist they saw more than the six vanished temples when the waters fell back. We are investigating,’ says Dr Sathiamoorthy of Archaeological Survey of India. It seems to me quite sensible to assume that there are finds to be made out to sea and that a concerted effort in that area will yield useful information.’ The operator gave us a history glimpse of Mahabalipuram shore temple which were 7 in total and over time 6 of them submerged in the deep while the last and existing one was seen. Now with equal vengeance, the myths may have become reality: the recent tsunami appears to have thrown evidence of the ancient port city back onto the beaches. We have all heard the story of how an ancient temple, was unearthed by the receding waters, after the catastrophic tsunami of 2004 in Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram. Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. For a few minutes, after the water had receded far from the shore and before it came raging back as a tsunami, the fishermen stood along the … After the tsunami of 2004, about 500 m was pulled back by the sea. All of those so far identified are around 6ft tall, and all have the elaborate engravings – of the kind found in the rock-hewn Mahabalipuram temple. © 2005 The Associated Press. But the fishermen insist they saw the remains of ancient temples and hundreds of refrigerator-sized blocks, all briefly exposed before the sea swallowed them up again. Mahabalipuram was already a thriving sea port on the Bay of Bengal before this time. A half-completed rock relief of an elephant was also naturally de-silted by the waves, and is drawing large crowds of admirers. According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Shore Temple: Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram in a day from Chennai with Guide & pick up drop (From US$135,00) An extraordinary - UNESCO Monuments Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai (From US$42,62) Full-Day Guided Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai with Lunch (From US$115,00) Shore Temple: Tsunami change - See 1,639 traveler reviews, 1,873 candid photos, and great deals for Mahabalipuram, India, at Tripadvisor. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. If the tsunami scared most tourists away, in Mahabalipuram it also brought some back. The Shore Temple of Mamallapuram was built during the reign of the Pallavan king Rajasimha/Narasimhavarman II, and it is the oldest structural temple of significance in South India. After the recession of the coastline following the tsunami, archaeologists identified several stone structures buried in the sand close to the Mahabalipuram temple. This legend wss considered a myth for centuries, and thus no investigation was ever conducted. All rights reserved. 2. How did rioters breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6? The myths of Mahabalipuram were first set down in writing by British traveller J Goldingham, who visited the South Indian coastal town in 1798. Live Updates: Nearby fire prompts brief security scare at Capitol, These Trump supporters still don't believe Biden will be president, Biden plans executive action on immigration, but warns of delay on bill, Cuomo gives update on COVID-19 in New York, Jailed Russian opposition leader calls on supporters to "resist", National Guard troops being vetted as they arrive to guard Capitol, "Cowboys for Trump" founder arrested by FBI, Trapped gold miners send up a desperate note begging for help, Anonymous donor gives $40 million to fund 50 civil rights lawyers, Securing the Capitol for the Biden-Harris Inauguration, Full coverage: Assault on the U.S. Capitol. They could be part of a temple or a building. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. It is home to dozens of Hindu temples, baroque stone structures often covered with carvings. Shore Temple Mahabalipuram. Shore Temple was named as 'Seven Pagodas' due to its pyramidal structure. The killer waves shifted thousands of tonnes of sand to uncover granite sculptures which archaeologists claim, are remnants of a seventh-century civilisation. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. The December 2004 tsunami, which battered much of the south Indian coast, has helped unearth priceless relics in the ancient port city of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. The Dec. 26 tsunami savaged hundreds of miles of shoreline across Asia. It killed at least 126,000 people in Indonesia and at least 31,000 in Sri Lanka. "The tsunami didn't do very much at all," said Alok Tripathi, who runs the excavations for the Archaeological Survey of India. Once upon a time, in the first century A.D., it was a tiny port town bustling with life. In the present day, Shore Temple makes the background of Mahabalipuram Dance Festival held annually in January/ February. Speaking to CWA, Robert Knox, Keeper of the Department of Asia at the British Museum said: This appears to be a very exciting revelation, and needs to be investigated thoroughly. Mahabalipuram Tourism; Mahabalipuram Hotels; Mahabalipuram Bed and Breakfast; Mahabalipuram Vacation Rentals; Mahabalipuram Vacation Packages The shore temple is a symbol of the ancient ruins of Mahabalipuram. After the recession of the coastline following the tsunami, archaeologists identified several stone structures buried in the sand close to the Mahabalipuram temple. Finally he added: "There was a lot of deaths, a lot of damage, a lot of destruction. In India, 10,700 people are confirmed dead, with more than 5,600 missing. The Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temple was built with granite stone and is one of the oldest stone temples in South India. Shore temple at Mahabalipuram is the most fascinating structure of Mahabalipuram. "My grandfathers said there was a port here once and a temple, but suddenly we could see it was real, we could see that something was out there.". The festival was organized to promote the traditional dance as well as tourism in Mahabalipuram. Whatever they saw is back under water and out of sight. However, the strong structure survived the catastrophe with the least damage to … Spread across nearly a mile, the site was encrusted with barnacles and covered in mud. Perhaps the most famous archaeological finding after the tsunami was a large stone lion, which the changing shoreline left sitting uncovered on Mahabalipuram's beach. A significant amount of coins and other artefacts excavated from this region also indicat… "There must have been at least 20," said Sunderasan, a young man, gesturing toward the sea. Mahabalipuram, Place that could take your travel to the next level Travel to History with the astonishing views in and out of the Shore Temple and its surroundings. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is a historic city and UNESCO World Heritage site in Tamil Nadu, India. The structures found on the beach ‘could be part of the small seaport city which existed here before the water engulfed them. "People are coming to see what the tsunami dug up," said Timothy, who sells sea shells and plastic palm trees at a beachside souvenir stand. Mahabalipuram Tourism; Mahabalipuram Hotels; Mahabalipuram Bed and Breakfast; Mahabalipuram Vacation Rentals It is an architectural beauty standing tall by the beach. From the first time that I visited this temple in the 1990s to now, a lot has changed about this temple. But what did those fisherman see? It is one of the famous structural stone temples that have stood up for years. 3. The news made international headlines. For a few minutes, after the water had receded far from the shore and before it came raging back as a tsunami, the fishermen stood along the beach and stared at the reality of generations of legends. The Shore temple is the only standing temple on board. Shore temple is a complex of three temples, one large and two small, located right on the shores of the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram. The Pallavas, who were known to be great patrons of art wanted to create a temple in their own style of architecture. And every tourist who heads there, is still told this tale, which is not entirely true. Mahabalipuram, capital of an ancient kingdom and famous for its elaborate Hindu temples, escaped mostly unscathed, with only three dead and limited damage. (CC BY SA 3.0) Remarkable as the Shore temple may seem, it is the six other submerged temples that have gained the most interest. "From an archaeological perspective, maybe the tsunami was good. The area around the famous Mahabalipuram temple in Tamil Nadu state is swathed in legend. They record how a large and attractive city once stood on the site, but that it was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day. ", First published on March 17, 2005 / 4:14 PM. "You could see the destroyed walls covered in coral, and the broken-down temple in the middle," said Durai, a sinewy fisherman who, like many south Indians, uses only one name. Tourism is a major employer here, a reflection of a spreading Indian middle class, and the coast road is lined with mom-and-pop resorts and cheap restaurants. Click here to subscribe. A lot of new perspectives that I discovered, new excavations have revealed stuff and the most significant of them all, hidden underwater temples have come to fore. It is said that the Shore Temple acted as a landmark for the navigation of ships. *Some works at Mahabalipuram, such as Arjuna’s Penance and possible our rock-cut Vishnu as well, were designed to ‘perform’. This temple was built entirely of granite blocks. *Some important early artworks, inscriptions and a water-tanks were discovered near the Shore Temple due to the effect that the Tsunami of 2004 had on the landscape. The Shore Temple (built in 700–728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Or so they say. According to a local myth, the beauty of Mahabalipuram aroused the jealousy of … It was stated that the six temples out of the seven pagodas remain submerged in the depth of the waters even today. But anonymously, fearing they'd be seen as callous, some researchers quietly acknowledge the tsunami revealed more than expected. For the past three years, archaeologists working with divers from India and England have undertaken surveys stretching 1km into the sea and have identified underwater remnants likely to belong to the ancient port. We started sailing towards the shore temple and the view were getting brilliant with outline of shore and the monument. The waves that brought such tragedy are thus adding new pieces to the puzzle of Mahabalipuram. It was constructed as a work of art. "Only because of these new things are people coming.". Those temples, which according to myth are said to have once lined the shore, were so beautiful that the gods destroyed all but one - the so-called Shore Temple, a magnificently carved complex that is now considered a national treasure. The best place to have a great photography. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. - See 1,639 traveler reviews, 1,873 candid photos, and great deals for Mahabalipuram, India, at Tripadvisor. "But from a human perspective ..." he said, his words drifting into silence. Shore Temple is no more a temple worshipped. The waves have given the temple a deep external clean, and have managed to de-silt one of the reliefs that had long been covered with sand. He dismisses the talk of 20 temples offshore, saying the fisherman believe "every stone is a temple.". The remains of a temple approximately one-and-a-half times the size of the still standing Shore Temple structure, plus a smaller temple on the same excavation site, have been laid bare by the excavations. All of those so far identified are around 6ft tall, and all have the elaborate engravings – of the kind found in the rock-hewn Mahabalipuram temple. Built under Narasimhavarman II in the 8th century, it’s the earliest significant free-standing stone temple in Tamil Nadu. Shore Temple is built using the granite stones and it is one of the oldest stone temples in South India. This is a town made for legend. Shore temple is a complex of three temples, one large and two small, located right on the shores of the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram. According to legends, Shore temple of Mahabalipuram was originally in a group of 7 temples of unparalleled beauty. Further excavations revealed that the 8th-century shrine had been built on the brick foundation of an earlier shrine. This place looks epic during sunset which is the perfect time for photography enthusiasts. Archaeologists laugh at the tales of Atlantis and say it may take years of undersea exploration to uncover the truth. Fellow at the gate called Ravichandran didn’t allow my wife or I into the Shore temple precincts despite us having purchased online tickets. The Shore Temple which is on the banks of the Bay of Bengal is one of the main attractions of Mahabalipuram. Most likely this is the last of the legendary Seven PAgodas – other temples have been inundated under the sea and destroyed by terrible tsunami or earthquake long ago. How DHS plans to secure the Biden Inauguration, Small protests held at heavily guarded state Capitols, Rioters aimed to "capture and assassinate" lawmakers, filing says, Major airlines banning guns in checked bags to D.C. airports, Capitol rioters communicated using military hand signals, source says, WHO chief rips COVID vaccine inequalities: "It's not right", Entire Dutch government resigns over child welfare scandal, COVID-19 variant first found in U.K. could be dominant in U.S. by March, Putin foe Alexey Navalny detained as he returns to Moscow, California Privacy/Information We Collect. Locals and tourists have flocked to see this statue since shortly after the tsunami. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). Shore Temple: Must watch - world heritage site! The Shore Temple is no more a living temple. Archaeologists have begun underwater excavations of what is believed to be an ancient city and parts of a temple uncovered by the tsunami off … Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. The most famous shore temple of Mahabalipuram was the worst hit during the 2004 tsunami. 4. The Shore Temple which was built during 700 - 728 AD has stood the test of times. On sunny weekend days hundreds of people now come to take a look at the carvings and splash their feet in the ocean. Archaeologists say excavations on shore and at sea were already under way before the tsunami struck, and that divers made promising finds of barnacle-encrusted blocks that appear man-made. "We had no idea there were so many out there.". The Tsunami that hit the shore of Coromandel in December 2004 exposed an old distorted temple and threw light on many speculations about Mahabalipuram. 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