Mahabalipuram, India: 7th Century Arjuna Ratha, sculpted in Granite.

Mahabalipuram, India: 7th Century Arjuna Ratha, sculpted in Granite.

Image shows the Arjuna and Draupadi Rathas of the Pancha Rathas (also known as Pandava Rathas), a monument complex at Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Dating from the late 7th century, it is attributed to the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I (630–680 AD) of the Pallava Kingdom. The Arjuna Ratha is the monument on the left, and closest to the camera. Nandi, the bull, can be seen to the right. The structures are without any precedence in Indian temple architecture and are carved out of a single granite rock each. Remarkably well preserved for monuments that are over 1300 years old; they withstood the ravages of the Tsunamis of the 13th Century and 2004. They however display the effects of wind and sand erosion of over a thousand three hundred years. These are not temples as they are unfinished, and were never consecrated. They are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Mahabalipuram. Photo shot in the afternoon sunlight; horizontal format. ©Mano Chandra Dhas

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