Mahabalipuram, India: 7th Century Rathas in Granite, in a row

Mahabalipuram, India: 7th Century Rathas in Granite, in a row

Image shows the Dharmaraja, Bhima, Arjuna and Draupadi Rathas of the Pancha Rathas (also known as Pandava Rathas), all lined up in a row. The monument complex at Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India dates from the late 7th century; it is attributed to the reigns of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I (630–680 AD) of the Pallava Kingdom. Nandi, the bull, can be seen to the right of the Arjuna Ratha. 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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