Built in 700 CE by the famous Pallava king Rajasimha, Mahabalipuram is a unique monument where art form combines with religion and legends. Also known as Mamallapuram, it showcases the best of Tamil art and architecture. The beauty of the monument is further enhanced by its location on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, the latter significantly influencing the creations. Part of the prestigious Monumental Legacy series, this book presents a graphic account of the site and its monuments-mandapas (cave temples), rathas (chariots), open air bas-reliefs, and structural temples. Arjuna's penance to obtain Pashupata weapon from Lord Shiva; Goddess Durga's victory over Mahishasura; Vishnu's incarnation as varaha; Goddess Lakshmi, personification of beauty; Krishna lifting the Govardhana Hill-all familiar legends come alive in Mahabalipuram. The author also surveys other related sculptures, panels, and inscriptions like Adivaraha cave, Mahishasura Mardini cave and panel, Varaha cave and panel, and the shore temple.
This book will be indispensable for the informed tourists visiting the site. It will also be useful for students and scholars of history, cultural studies, and art and architecture.
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