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Mamallapuram Sightseeing
 

Arjuna's Penance
 

Carved in relief on the face of a huge rock, Arjuna's Penance is the mythical story of the River Ganges issuing from its source high in the Himalaya . the panel depicts animal animals, deities and other semi-divine creatures, fable from the Panchatantra, and Arjuna doing a penance to obtain a boon from Siva.

Arjuna's Penance
              
Shore Temple   
 

This beautiful and romantic temple, ravaged by wind and sea, represents the final phase of Pallavas art and was built in the late 7th century during the reign of Rajasimha. It is believed that at one point in time there were seven such temples, six of them were victims to the natural elements of erosion. This temple has three shrines; one dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the other two to Lord Shiva. The frothy waves form a striking backdrop to the temple, protected by rows of rock-carved bulls. The most unique feature of the temple is that it houses shrines to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.  

  
Mandapams
 

There are eight mandapams ( shallow, rock-cut halls ) scattered over the main hill, two of which have been left unfinished. they are mainly of interest for their internal figure sculptures. One of the earliest rock-cut temples is the Krishna Mandapam. It features carvings of a pastoral scene showing Krishna lifting up the Govardhana mountain to protect his kinsfolk from the wrath of Indra. On the hill rests a dangerously balanced boulder named Krishna's Butterball after his legendary affinity for fresh butter.

      
Five Rathas
 

These are the architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples, demonstrating the imposing gopurams and vimanas, multi pillared halls and sculptured walls which dominate the landscape of  Tamil Nadu.