Chennai, India

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The temple has a garbhagriha in which the deity, Sivalinga, is enshrined, and a small mandapa surrounded by a heavy outer wall with little space between for circumambulation. At the rear are two shrines facing opposite directions. The inner shrine dedicated to Ksatriyasimnesvara is reached through a passage while the other, dedicated to Vishnu, faces the outside. The Durga is seated on her lion vahana. A small shrine may have been in the cavity in the lion's chest.

The Shore Temple (700-728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. It was built on a promontory sticking out into the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipuram, a village south of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The village was a busy port during the 7th and 8th century reign of the Pallava dynasty during the reign of Narasimhavarman II.
 
As one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest structural (versus rock-cut) stone temples of South India.
 
The Shore Temple is a five-storeyed structural Hindu temple rather than rock-cut as are the other monuments at the site. It is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India. Its pyramidal structure is 60 ft high and sits on a 50 ft square platform. There is a small temple in front which was the original porch.
 
Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India.
 
Pancha Rathas - an example of monolith Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century, located at Mamallapuram, a tiny village south of Madras in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.
 
The Pancha Rathas shrines were carved during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I. The purpose of their construction is not known, structures are not completed. Pancha Rathas have been preserved very well thanks to sturdiness of their material - granite and in spite of constant salty winds from the ocean and catastrophic tsunami in 13th century.
 
The city's former name, Madras, is derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing village north of Fort St. George. There is some argument among researchers about the exact origin of the name Madraspattinam. It has been suggested that the Portuguese, who arrived in the area in the 16th century, may have named the village Madre de Deus, meaning the Mother of God. Another possibility is that the village's name came from the prominent Madeiros family (variously known as Madera or Madra in succeeding years) of Portuguese origin, which consecrated the Madre de Deus Church in the Santhome locality of Chennai in 1575. *All info credit to Wikipedia*
 
Meet my host in India - Mr. & Mr.s Arul Kumar. Without em, I wouldn't have had much fun traveling.
This is the beach view of Taj Resort in Chennai
Pool view of Taj Resort, Chennai
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