Thursday, January 14, 2010

Historical Sites Near Chennai - Mamalla Quarries

Mahabalipuram was under control by Pallava kings from the Third Century to Ninth century AD. Mahabalipuram , a world heritage site, famous centre of Pallava art and architecture in South India, was also a seaport right from the beginning of the Christian era. The epigraphical sources confirm Pallava kings' active contacts with Ceylon, China and the Southeast Asian countries. A few Roman coins of Theodosius (4th century AD) found from the region suggest that Mababalipuram also had trade contact with the Roman world around Christian era. It came to the glory only after the Pallava started building the structural and monolithic temple architecture in this area.
Shown below are pictures taken during recent visit to the Valiankuttan and Pidari Rathams at Mamalla Quarry at Mahabalipuram.
1 & 2: Bas Relief of Hindu elephant god Ganesha.
3 & 4: Unfinished Valiankuttan rathas (chariots) carved from monolithic granite blocks
5,6 & 7 : Quarried blocks of granite - unsuitable because of cracks & fissures
8 & 9: Shows how the rocks are dressed
10-15: Unfinished Pidari rathas - not completed because of defects in rock
16: View of Light House Mahabalipuram from Quarry


  1. This is a fascinating post! I'm always surprised by how skilled some of the ancients were! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by The Villages Daily Photo!

  2. Fascinating tour with great photos. The unfinished carvings were especially interesting.

  3. A must, that I should take a tour in this area to see those ancient temples carved from stone. Cutting style amazes me, yesss incredible Hindistan (=India)

  4. Great shots!
    I have been to Mahabalipuram but didn't get to see these places. :(

  5. Hello Ram:)


    Very interesting write up and lovely photos. The various carvings clearly demonstrates that our men had awesome talents to produce these wonderful rock carvings which withstood the test of time and is a standing testimony for their great expertise and creativity.

    Many thanks for sharing.

    Have a nice day:)

  6. Wonder snaps. had been to Mammalpuram, but missed this. I loved the images of Ganesha

  7. I went to Chakdighi because is my husband's maternal uncle' place.
    Thanks for all your lovely comments.
    I have been to Mahabalipuram and seen this place. Its wonderful and you have taken spectacular shots.

  8. Lovely images, India has so many such beautiful historical places to visit. Even a life time will not be enough. I got goosebumps looking at the carvings. To think somebody did all this so many years ago...

  9. Namaste Ram. Great, great photos from a gorgeous place! Kind regards.

  10. I visited Mahabalipuram in 1993( ages ago!!) and I don't remember seeing these wonderful carvings.

  11. Hi Ram! Wonderful place; another one in my long list... ;)

    Thanks for your comment at my new blog Blogtrotter Two, now at the Art Deco District in South Beach! Hope to read you there often! Have a great weekend ahead!!!

  12. Amazing photos of the beautiful ancient sculptures and buildings.

  13. It's only a rambling when there is no one to listen. Actually I find your blog and pictures fascinating.

  14. amazing Mahabalipuram and neat description sir....need to plan a visit at the earliest....jumped her from Rajesh's pro

  15. Amazing captures of the temples carved out of solid rocks.. Really a living marvel..

  16. Hi, We have just set up a facebook page for love of Mahabalipuram! Please like and share! And let us know if you want to contribute as well and I will provide you admin rights.

    Hope to see you on there and be in touch!

    I Love Mahabalipuram Admin



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