Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, the 7th century Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu ranks among the earliest structural temples in South India. A World Heritage Site, the temple is a genuine testimony to the regal heritage of this great country. The temple is named so because it’s located on the shores of Bay of Bengal and it is perhaps among the most photographed structural monuments in the country.
Shore Temple showcases the royal taste and pomp of the Pallava dynasty and it was contrasted during the reign of Rajasimha. Now a UNESCO site, the temple has been witness to many a historical event and it saw many a battering by wind and sea. Created as a work of art, the temple architecture depicts how the erstwhile rulers – the Pallavas – were a great patrons of art.
In terms of architecture, Shore Temple is considered unique as it was the first stone structure made by Pallavas. The spire of this five-storied rock-cut structural temple is elaborately decorated using carvings and sculptures. An example of Dravidian temple structure, the temple is a perfect example of history, art and natural splendor merged together. In present days, the temple becomes the site of the famous Mahabalipuram Dance Festival hosted in the months of Jan /Feb every year.