Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pancha Rathas, Mahabalipuram

Pancha Rathas are group of important monuments in Mahabalipuram. These 7th century shrines were carved sometime in the period 630 - 670 A.D. during the reign of King Narasimhavarman I. There are totally five shrines, each of them are monolith, carved out from an outcropping of rock.

Since these temples are still unfinished, no worship has been offered there.
Pancha Rathas when translated mean "five chariots", and they are named individually after Draupadi and the Pandava brothers. It is different matter that there may not be relation between them and the epic Mahabharata.

The view in this photo is from the northwest.
In the foregrou
nd is a carved lion. Behind the lion, from left to right in the photo, are the Draupadi, Arjuna, and Bhima Rathas. In front of Bhima Ratha is Elephant and Nakul-Sahadava Ratha. Dharmaraja Ratha is hidden in this photo behind the other structures.

Draupadi Shrine is the smallest and simplest and it is formed as a bangla hut. The Arjuna shrine is like a small palace or pavillion, with sculpted pilasters, and an octagonal dome. Bhima Shrine is the largest with its
barrel vaulting and long columned porch. Seated lions are carved in front of the columns at the base. Nakul-Sahadeva Shrine is south-facing and is in apsidal shape.

Dharmaraja Shrine is a larger version of the Arjuna Shrine with pyramidal roof. The building is topped by an octagonal-shaped dome, the shikhara. Since there is a increase in the elevation below this shrine, it gives a clear look at the decorative elements of its roof, when compared with Arjuna's similar roof.

The craftsmanship when viewed in person will be appreciated more.

60 comments:

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Thanks for bringing back memories of one of my most favorite spots. Beautiful photographs

Sridharan said...

Been to this monument several times and enjoyed it every time.. Very well covered Rajesh..

SandyCarlson said...

"Carved whole" and "unfinished alongside "7th century" has me rethinking my ideas of time!

radha said...

Nice pictures of Mahabalipuram. I have gone so close to the place but have never been there!!

kavita said...

Amazing creativity and a great deal of hardwork is visible in these rathas.Awesome !

Nita said...

It's always a pleasure to stroll around here!

A kiss of Nita.
Good morning!

DeeBee L. said...

Monolith monuments always amaze me. We can just admire the skill of these artists , turning a field of rocks into beautiful sculptures!

Zuzana said...

Beautiful images, they always come across so exotic to me.;))
xoxo

Jeevan said...

Nice photos Rajesh! Well described the place.

joo said...

You always show us fascinating places! Thank you:)

Ruby said...

Such great monolithic that are timeless.

Lowell said...

The complex is huge! And it would be wonderful to see the craftsmanship up close.

Are the people in the photos your family? Your kids with the lion?

Team G Square said...

Great place to experience the history .

Sujatha Sathya said...

been here too :)
so much info in the post

Liz said...

Beautiful images! Happy sky watching.

Skywatch

Simply Delicious said...

Wonderful shots!

Roberto Machado Alves said...

I really enjoyed the photos.
Yesterday I attended a major exhibition on India here in Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition shows various aspects of Indian culture such as religion, clothing, sculptures, music, theater, photography and works by contemporary artists.

Carver said...

Beautiful shrines and interesting information.

EG Wow said...

Love the people in these photos ws they give a sense of scale.

Gary said...

Stunning architecture!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Karen said...

Amazing monuments and temples!

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful shrines and wonderful carvings. Your country is filled will amazing sights to see. great photos, happy skywatching!

ewok1993 said...

seriously considering visiting india. hopefully i the budget is there :)

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous, fascinating captures and such clear, cloudless skies! Wonderful post and photos as always, Rajesh! I love seeing the children playing and enjoying their visit! Have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Pearl Maple said...

Great collection of photos, looks like an amazing place to visit

chubskulit said...

Simply beautiful!

Sky Watch at my page.

Kim, USA said...

Wow these temples are huge!

SWF

Al said...

Even if it's unfinished it's a beautiful shrine, great shots.

J Bar said...

Good shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love best the one that is carved to look like a hut (a prayer hut?)... the carving seems so intricate. Interesting to see this unfinished work.

Babli said...

Beautiful pictures of Mahabalipuram. I have been there several times and love to visit again and again to see the marvellous sculptures.

Krishna said...

nice information with beautiful photos

thanks

Indrani said...

Grand pictures. It seems like a bright and sunny day.

Lakshmi said...

Fond memories of Mahabalipuram

ladyfi said...

What wonderful carvings!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Marvelous!

Leovi said...

Delicious pictures, I love, with a magnificent view that highlights the beauty of this beautiful place.

magiceye said...

sure would love to visit!!

forgetmenot said...

I am in awe of these works. To carve them from stone is quite an amazing feat. Thanks for sharing such interesting posts. Mickie :)

Sneo said...

nice stuff.. i remember going to Mahab 2 yrs back... we had a nice time cycling to these temples

Spiderdama said...

It is amazing work with this buildings and animals.
Great post!

George said...

These are very interesting shrines with wonderful artistic details. Thanks for taking us there and giving us this information about them.

eden said...

Impressive carvings. Beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

The dark interior of the Draupadi Shrine is both mysterious and enticing!

I HAVE A LITTLE SHADOW

I have a little shadow that always follows me;
My shadow is my best friend, as anyone can see.

No matter where my feet go, my shadow’s always there—
Except, of course, at midnight with darkness everywhere!


© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Sunflower Shadows

Kalyan said...

Simply beautifully captured shots...lovely reading!

Ms. Becky said...

wow, thanks for sharing these ancient beauties. they make me feel really small in the path of time. happy SSS to you.

Sarah said...

Such a beautiful place-I especially like the carved lion-and the way people are having their photos taken in front of it-just like Trafalgar Square!

LV said...

You bog and post are so educational. I feel like I am back in school taking history. Great job as usual.

Genie said...

What a wonderful and historic place to visit. I love the way the little children are dwarfed bv the size of the sculpture. I think India must have more ancient temples that any other country in the world. You have certainly opened my eyes to the beauty of your country. genie

Rajesh said...

Thank you all for appreciating the wonderful craftsmanship.

Lowell: With the lion the boy in dungree is my son. Yes, as there were people all over the place, I thought of using my own family in the photos.

Life Mix said...

amazing craftsmanship. you have nice place over there

Firas said...

Nice shots!

sappy said...

You very picturesquely described the details of the "pancharathas".Thank you very much.

Arti said...

Fascinating place, the artwork and the entire setting is brilliant. I have never heard of this place, would surely love to visit it someday.

jaish_vats said...

I have heard that whats there in Mahabalipuram are just those that are remnant and that the majority of the monoliths are now submerged under the sea.

AmitAag said...

...wonderful shots, Rajesh:) Thanks!

Geeta Singh said...

worth reading :)

Bhavana said...

Great shots, Rajesh!!! Love this place.. I have even campaigned here for anti-corruption with my friends:)

Puru@ShadowsGalore said...

I have fond memories of Mahabalipuram (or Mahabs as we called it) near which I studied for one year. Your splendid photographs brought those memories back. Thanks :)

Rajesh said...

Thank you for all appreciation. This is a nice place to visit.