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The Shore Temple - One of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram - Tamil Nadu - India

Shore Temple is one of India’s oldest structural stone temples and, a UNESCO World Heritage site.The Shore Temple consists of of three temples in its complex dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.As its name suggests, the Shore Temple overlooks the Bay of Bengal (Mamallapuram was the port city of Kanchipuram, the Pallava capital).The Shore temple is situated right on Mahabalipuram beach.Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram is one of the earliest structural temples in Southern India.

Location: Shores of Coromandel Coast, Mahabalipuram,Tamil Nadu
Built in: 7th century (700–728 AD)
Dedicated to: Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu
Attraction: One of the earliest structural temples in South India
Significance: Listed as UNESCOWorld Heritage Site
Good for : History Buffs God Lovers Experience Seekers
Timings : All days of the week , 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Visit Duration : 30 Minutes

The Shore Temple is built as a testament to Mamallapuram’s might as a busy port during the times of Pallava king Narasimhavarman, Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram, named simply after its location, is one of India’s oldest structural stone temples and, fittingly, a World Heritage site.Built under Narasimhavarman II in the 8th century, it's the earliest significant free-standing stone temple in Tamil Nadu.The two towers rise above shrines to Shiva and their original linga (phallic symbols of Shiva) captured the sunrise and sunset.The central shrine is in the form of a rectangle. It has a magnificent statue of lord Vishnu which is known as Sthala Shayana Perumal or Ananthasayana which means sleeping Vishnu.The key attraction of the Shore Temple are the five chariots or the Pancha Pandava Rathas, four of which are named after the Padavas and the fifth one is known as the Draupadi Ratha. Each of these Rathas is huge and distinct from the others, speaking of the aesthetic excellence of the artisans of that time.At one of statue Durga is seated on her vahana, the lion. The hollowed- out cavity in the lion's chest would have been used for a small shrine.Shore Temple is also acknowledged for being the first stone structure made by Pallavas. Before this, the monuments used to be carved out of the rocks or stones. Unlike other monuments of the region, 

Shore Temple is a five-storied rock-cut structural temple more willingly than monolithical.On both sides of the temple inside are the marvelous sculptures of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu with their better halves. The top part of the Shivalinga figure inside the temple is found damaged.The exterior wall of the shrine to Lord Vishnu and the internal side of the boundary wall are elaborately carved and sculptured. The images on the sculpted panels depict scenes from everyday life. However, the sculptures are incredibly real and artistic.The lion has a small cut, a square shaped cut in its belly. A Huge rock near by the temple has been the target of the waves to touch it from the ancient days.The Shore Temple is counted among the oldest stone temples of Southern India and was also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.Shore temple’s main shrine is the five-storied temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In between the main temple and the other smaller temple dedicated to Lord Shiva as well, is the shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu, represented in his reclining form.

The Shore Temple and The Five Rathas Entry Fee and Timing

  • Indian citizens : Rs.10/-
  • Foreign Nationals : US$ 5
  • Childern below 15 years : Free

Admission for visit arround monuments is free.Photography is allowed Free but videography has to pay Rs. 25/-

Tourist Attractions Near The Shore Temple

Mahabalipuram is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. And together with Chennai and Kanchipuram.This 7th century port city of the Pallavas, which was a dynasty of Dravidian civilization, includes several historical monuments which were mainly structured in that era.The Shore Temple is the main Tourist Attraction at Mahabalipuram.Pancha Rathas is other main attraction located 1.4 Km from The Shore Temple and Other attraction is Arjuna's Penance is located 0.7 Km From The Shore Temple.There are other Tourist Attractions Near The Shore Temple are listed bellow.
  • Thirukadalmallai: The temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • Descent of the Ganges
  • Varaha Cave Temple : A small rock-cut temple buit in 7th century.
  • Pancha Rathas
  • Light House: Built in 1894.

Shopping Near The Shore Temple

There are lot of shops around the main sightseeing places.There are few fancy shops are available all around Mamallpuram where we can buy these sculptures but I prefered to buy it from real people who are really working hard and putting whole lot of effort to finish one master piece.Mahabalipuram is also popular amidst shopping freaks as there are exquisite local handicrafts are available in the shops at great prices.Once outside the Shore Temple so many street-vendors are selling handcarved granite statues of all kind, leather sandals, table cloth, nice bronze art objects at a good price.

Restaurants Near The Shore Temple

There are many Restaurants Near The Shore Temple which serves best food for eat like,

Sea Shore garden beach restaurant
10, Othaivadi street, Fisherman Colony

25 Ehirullum st

34, Othavadai St

Gecko Cafe
No. 14 Othavadai Cross Street

Hotels Near The Shore Temple

On your next holiday to Mahabalipuram, a visit to Shore Temple Road is a must. There are many places of interest that you must visit in Mahabalipuram, which has plenty of activities and things to do while on vacation here. It offers a number of options for your stay, ranging from 5 star luxurious hotels and heritage hotels to budgeted guest houses and lodges, catering.A large number of lodges help you enjoy your leisure in The Shore Temple without concerning much about the pocket size. Have a look over the exhaustive list of the best lodges in The Shore Temple.Here is some list of some hotels are given bellow.

Sea Breeze Hotel 3.0 Star Hotel
Ottawadai Street, Mahabalipuram.
0.3 km from Sea Shore Temple

INDeco Mahabalipuram 2.5 Star Hotel
Shore Temple Road | Mahabalipuram.
0.4 km from Sea Shore Temple

Hotel Ramakrishna 3.0 Star Hotel
8 Othavadai Street, Mahabalipuram.
0.5 km from Sea Shore Temple

Hotel Mahabs
No.68 East Raja Street (Behind SBI-ATM), Mahabalipuram.
0.6 km from Sea Shore Temple

Hotel Mamalla Heritage 2.5 Star Hotel
No 104, East Raja Street, Mahabalipuram.
0.8 km from Sea Shore Temple

Radisson BLU Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram 4.5 Star Hotel
57 Covelong Road, Mahabalipuram.
0.9 km from Sea Shore Temple

Golden Sun Hotel & Beach Resort 3.0 Star Hotel
59 Kovelong Road, Mahabalipuram.
1.1 km from Sea Shore Temple

How to Reach The Shore Temple

By Air :

Chennai is the closest airport from Mammallapuram Shore Temple.It is 76 Km From the shore temple.

By Rail :

Chengalpattu is 29 km from Mahabalipuram Shore Temple is the nearest railway station from here. There are regular trains from here connecting to Chennai and other places of all over the country.

By Road :

Mahabalipuram has a good road-network, connecting to all mejor places like Chennai, Tirukkalikundram,Kanchipuram and Pondicherry.One can easily reach Shore Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from anywhere in Tamil Nadu.

Google Map For The Shore Temple

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