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Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.

Ensemble de monuments de Mahabalipuram

Cet ensemble de sanctuaires, dû aux souverains Pallava, fut creusé dans le roc et construit aux VIIe et VIIIe siècles sur la côte de Coromandel. Il comprend notamment des rathas (temples en forme de chars), des mandapas (sanctuaires rupestres), de gigantesques reliefs en plein air, comme la célèbre « Descente du Gange », et le temple du Rivage, aux milliers de sculptures à la gloire de Shiva.

مجمّع نصب ماهاباليبورام

تمّ التنقيب عن مجمّع المعابد هذا العائد لحكام سلالة بالافا في الصخر وشُيّد بين القرنين السابع والثامن على ساحل كوروماندل. وتشمل هذه المجمعات ما يُعرف بـ"راثاس" rathas  أي معابد على شكل عربات و"ماندباس" mandapas أي معابد صخرية، بالإضافة إلى تضاريس عملاقة في الهواء الطلق كمنحدر نهر الغانج الشهير ومعبد ريفاج بآلاف منحوتاته على اسم الإلهة شيفا.

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Памятники Махабалипурама

Эта группа святилищ, основанных царями государства Паллава в VII-VIII вв., была высечена в скалах на Коромандельском побережье. Она особо известна своими «ратха» (храмами в форме колесниц), «мантапа» (пещерными святилищами), гигантскими барельефами под открытым небом (например, «Нисхождение Ганга») и Прибрежным храмом с тысячами скульптур, прославляющими бога Шиву.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Conjunto de Monumentos de Mahabalipuram

Situado en la costa de Coromandel, este sitio engloba un conjunto de santuarios excavados en la roca que fueron fundados por los reyes de la dinastía de los Pallava entre los siglos VII y VIII. El sitio es sobre todo conocido por sus rathas (templos en forma de carros), sus mandapas (santuarios rupestres), sus gigantescos relieves al aire libre, como el célebre “Descenso del Ganges”, y los millares de esculturas del famoso Templo de la Orilla, erigido a la gloria de Siva.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Monumentengroep in Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram werd in de 7e eeuw gesticht door de Pallavas vorsten ten zuiden van Madras. De koningen waren ook verantwoordelijk voor het ontstaan van de groep heiligdommen, die uit rotsen werd gehouwen aan de kust van Coromandel in de 7e en 8e eeuw. De monumenten staan bekend om hun monolithische rathas (tempels in de vorm van triomfwagens) en mandapas (grottempels of rotsheiligdommen). Maar ook vanwege de gigantische openlucht rotsreliëfs, waarvan het beroemde ‘De neerdaling van de Ganges’ er een is. Verder zijn de tempels gebouwd van uitgehakte steen bijzonder, zoals de Rivage tempel die met duizenden beelden is opgedragen aan de glorie van Shiva.

Source: unesco.nl

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Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
Long Description

Mahabalipuram is pre-eminently testimony to the Pallavas civilization of south-east India.The sanctuary, known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), and giant open-air reliefs, is one of the major centres of the cult of Siva. The influence of the sculptures of Mahabalipuram, characterized by the softness and supple mass of their modelling, spread widely (Cambodia, Annam, Java).

Founded in the 7th century by the Pallavas sovereigns south of Madras, the harbour of Mahabalipuram traded with the distant kingdoms of South-East Asia: Kambuja (Cambodia) and Shrivijaya (Malaysia, Sumatra, Java) and with the empire of Champa (Annam). But the fame of its role as a harbour has been transferred to its rock sanctuaries and Brahmin temples which were constructed or decorated at Mahabalipuram between 630 and 728.

Most of the monuments, like the rock-cut rathas, sculptured scenes on open rocks like Arjuna's penance, the caves of Govardhanadhari and Ahishasuramardini, and the Jala-Sayana Perumal temple (the sleeping Mahavishnu or Chakrin at the rear part of the Shore temple complex) are attributed to the period of Narasimhavarman I Mamalla.

The monuments may be subdivided into five categories:

  • ratha temples in the form of processional chariots, monolithic constructions cut into the residual blocks of diorite which emerge from the sand. The five ratha of the south, which are the most famous, date to the reign of Naharasimhavarman Mamalla (630-68), the great Pallavas king (the Cholas texts, moreover, call the city Mamallapuram).
  • mandapa, or rock sanctuaries modelled as rooms covered with bas-reliefs (the mandapa of Varaha, representing the acts of this avatar of Vishnu; the mandapa of the Five Pandavas and, especially, the mandapa of Krishna and the mandapa of Mahishasuramardini).
  • rock reliefs in the open air illustrate a popular episode in the iconography of Siva, that of the Descent of the Ganges. The wise King Baghirata having begged him to do so, Siva ordered the Ganges to descend to Earth and to nourish the world. The sculptors used the natural fissure dividing the cliff to suggest this cosmic event to which a swarming crowd of gods, goddesses, mythical beings (Kinnara, Gandherya, Apsara, Gana, Naga and Nagini), wild and domestic animals bear witness.
  • temples built from cut stone, like the Temple of Rivage, which was constructed under King Rajasimha Narasimavarmn II (695-722), with its high-stepped pyramidal tower and thousands of sculptures dedicated to the glory of Siva.
  • monolithic rathas, from single- to triple-storeyed, display a variety of architectural forms, while the Dharmaraja, Arjuna and Draupadi rathas are square in plan, the Bhima and Ganesa rathas rectangular, and the Sahadeva ratha apsidal. Structural architecture was introduced on a grand scale by Pallava Rajasimha (700-28), culminating in the erection of the Shore Temple.

Another piece of architectural beauty is the Shore temple, standing against the background of the deep blue waters of the ocean. It belongs to a period when the constructional style of the Pallavas was at its peak in its decorative beauty and intrinsic quality. This building has become eroded by the corrosive action of seawater and air and the sculptures have become indistinct