The Shore Temple was one of the main attractions I visited on my first trip to India. I was in the country for the first time to attend a friend’s wedding. I had just started a new job, so I was only able to take a week off. I know…I would have loved to stay longer and really explore the country, but alas I couldn’t! I guess I’ll just have to return another time to see more…it’s not a trip to India unless you’ve seen the Taj Mahal!
While we were staying at the Radisson Blue Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram, we were generously given a tour of the Shore Temple. The temple is so aptly named because it sits overlooking the shores of the Bay of Bengal. It was built of granite in the 8th century A.D., and is part of a group of monuments in Mamallapuram that became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The Shore Temple itself is one of the oldest structures in South India.
I was so excited to get outside of the resort and see and experience some of the local Indian history since I was there for such a short period of time. It was quite a crowded a village and I really enjoyed the walk through town towards the temple. I was so grateful to have a guide to explain some of the history…my small amount of knowledge stemming from a religious studies class on Hinduism. He told us that during the 2004 tsunami a crumbling structure was revealed below sea level when the water pulled away, and now many speculate that the Shore Temple was part of the mythical Seven Pagodas, a group of seven temples–six of which were/are believed to be submerged at sea.
I had fun walking around the beautiful grounds and admiring the carvings. If you are visiting Chennai, Mamallapuram is just an hour and a half drive south and you will not want to miss this beautiful ancient masterpiece!
A few more photos of our day wandering around the grounds of the temple and further into town…
Color, everywhere you looked.
The detail of these carvings is just insane! It was a beautiful temple. We weren’t asked to take off our shoes here since it was mostly outside, but we did follow that custom at other temples.
How about you, have you ever been to India? If so where did you travel to! I feel as if there is so, so much to see India that it will take me multiple trips!