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Shore Temple

Beautifully nestling on the banks of the Bay of Bengal, Shore Temple is one of the main attractions of Mahabalipuram. The beautiful temple stands magnificently overlooking the sea, and surrounded by gardens and ruined courts. The temple is two storied, symbolizing the grandeur of Pallava architecture. The Shore Temple which was built during 700 - 728 AD, and has, since then, stood the test of times.

The Shore Temple was named as ‘Seven Pagodas’ due to its pyramidal structure. The name seven pagodas indicate the existence of 7 temples in the past. However, now only Shore temple remains to narrate the tales of the past. Mahabalipuram was a popular trading port in the time of the Pallava dynasty. It is said that the Shore Temple acted as a landmark for the navigation of ships.

According to popular beliefs, the mythology of the King Hiranyakashipu and his son Prahalada is related with the temple. It is believed that after Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Vishnu, Prahalada becomes the king.

The beautiful structure of the Shore Temple is an architectural marvel, beautifully reflecting the ancient finesse of art. The temple was once a busy village port of Mahabalipuram, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tamil Nadu.

Built under Narasimhavarman II in the 8th century, later the Cholas built the additional parts of the temple after invading the Mamallapuram from the Pallavas.

Shore temple is a complex of 3 temples; One big temple and two small temples. The carvings of the temple are a major attraction among the travelers. Between the Shiva shrines, there is a shrine of Vishnu, shown sleeping. The temple also houses rows of Nandi (Shiva's vehicle) statues that frame the temple courtyard. A boulder-carved Durga sits on her lion-vehicle's knee on the temple's south side.

Entry fee for the Shore Temple and the Five Rathas:
Rs. 10 for Indian citizens
US$ 5 for foreign nationals
Entry Free for kids below 15 years

Timings: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m

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