Archaeologists laugh at the tales of Atlantis and say it may take years of undersea exploration to uncover the truth. Perhaps the most famous archaeological finding after the tsunami was a large stone lion, which the changing shoreline left sitting uncovered on Mahabalipuram's beach. But the fishermen insist they saw the remains of ancient temples and hundreds of refrigerator-sized blocks, all briefly exposed before the sea swallowed them up again. According to a local myth, the beauty of Mahabalipuram aroused the jealousy of … Currently you have JavaScript disabled. For a few minutes, after the water had receded far from the shore and before it came raging back as a tsunami, the fishermen stood along the beach and stared at the reality of generations of legends. The structure of the temple was erected basically as a work of art. But legend speaks of its most famous temples: the Seven Pagodas, named for the vaguely pagoda-like style of Hindu temples in this part of India. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. It was stated that the six temples out of the seven pagodas remain submerged in the depth of the waters even today. ", First published on March 17, 2005 / 4:14 PM. It is located near Chennai in Tamil Nadu. They could be part of a temple or a building. The Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temple was built with granite stone and is one of the oldest stone temples in South India. 4. The killer waves shifted thousands of tonnes of sand to uncover granite sculptures which archaeologists claim, are remnants of a seventh-century civilisation. The Shore Temple (built in 700–728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Once upon a time, in the first century A.D., it was a tiny port town bustling with life. The Shore Temple which was built during 700 - 728 AD has stood the test of times. It seems to me quite sensible to assume that there are finds to be made out to sea and that a concerted effort in that area will yield useful information.’ This legend wss considered a myth for centuries, and thus no investigation was ever conducted. In India, 10,700 people are confirmed dead, with more than 5,600 missing. All of those so far identified are around 6ft tall, and all have the elaborate engravings – of the kind found in the rock-hewn Mahabalipuram temple. This temple was built entirely of granite blocks. Fellow at the gate called Ravichandran didn’t allow my wife or I into the Shore temple precincts despite us having purchased online tickets. It was constructed as a work of art. This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 10. "People are coming to see what the tsunami dug up," said Timothy, who sells sea shells and plastic palm trees at a beachside souvenir stand. The temple, a World Heritage site, represents some of the earliest-known examples of Dravidian architecture dating back to the 7th century AD. The Shore Temple of Mamallapuram was built during the reign of the Pallavan king Rajasimha/Narasimhavarman II, and it is the oldest structural temple of significance in South India. "Business is good these days," Timothy said, smiling. Some fishermen insist they saw more than the six vanished temples when the waters fell back. He wanted us to pay Rs 600 as he tho Shore Temple: Tsunami change - See 1,639 traveler reviews, 1,873 candid photos, and great deals for Mahabalipuram, India, at Tripadvisor. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). All rights reserved. The Shore Temple which is on the banks of the Bay of Bengal is one of the main attractions of Mahabalipuram. After the recession of the coastline following the tsunami, archaeologists identified several stone structures buried in the sand close to the Mahabalipuram temple. "The tsunami didn't do very much at all," said Alok Tripathi, who runs the excavations for the Archaeological Survey of India. The Shore Temple is no more a living temple. In the time of Pallava dynasty, Mahabalipuram was popular trading port. "Only because of these new things are people coming.". Mahabalipuram Tourism; Mahabalipuram Hotels; Mahabalipuram Bed and Breakfast; Mahabalipuram Vacation Rentals; Mahabalipuram Vacation Packages We found some new things," said one, pointing to the exposed boulders. Shore Temple is no more a temple worshipped. Shore Temple: Must watch - world heritage site! Click here to subscribe. After the recession of the coastline following the tsunami, archaeologists identified several stone structures buried in the sand close to the Mahabalipuram temple. Shore temple is a complex of three temples, one large and two small, located right on the shores of the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram. In one more twist of fate, the tsunami’s ferocious waves have also positively impacted on the temple, the archaeologists report. This is a town made for legend. Eyewitness accounts of tsunami relics stirred popular and scientific interest in the site. The area around the famous Mahabalipuram temple in Tamil Nadu state is swathed in legend. Spread across nearly a mile, the site was encrusted with barnacles and covered in mud. The waves that brought such tragedy are thus adding new pieces to the puzzle of Mahabalipuram. It is home to dozens of Hindu temples, baroque stone structures often covered with carvings. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Shore Temple was named as 'Seven Pagodas' due to its pyramidal structure. How did rioters breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6? The news made international headlines. however in the year 2004, as the Tsunami struck the Coromandel Coast, several tourists and locals claim to have seen six of the submerged temples surface for a brief while. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 7 discoveries that changed the archaeological world. The myths tell of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple – the Mahabalipuram temple – still standing on the seashore. A significant amount of coins and other artefacts excavated from this region also indicat… Tourism is a major employer here, a reflection of a spreading Indian middle class, and the coast road is lined with mom-and-pop resorts and cheap restaurants. We started sailing towards the shore temple and the view were getting brilliant with outline of shore and the monument. Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is a historic city and UNESCO World Heritage site in Tamil Nadu, India. "But from a human perspective ..." he said, his words drifting into silence. They record how a large and attractive city once stood on the site, but that it was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The myths of Mahabalipuram were first set down in writing by British traveller J Goldingham, who visited the South Indian coastal town in 1798. It is said that the Shore Temple acted as a landmark for the navigation of ships. Every tourist trail also begins from the shore temple. A half-completed rock relief of an elephant was also naturally de-silted by the waves, and is drawing large crowds of admirers. (CC BY SA 3.0) Remarkable as the Shore temple may seem, it is the six other submerged temples that have gained the most interest. Further excavations revealed that the 8th-century shrine had been built on the brick foundation of an earlier shrine. All of those so far identified are around 6ft tall, and all have the elaborate engravings – of the kind found in the rock-hewn Mahabalipuram temple. If the tsunami scared most tourists away, in Mahabalipuram it also brought some back. He dismisses the talk of 20 temples offshore, saying the fisherman believe "every stone is a temple.". A lot of new perspectives that I discovered, new excavations have revealed stuff and the most significant of them all, hidden underwater temples have come to fore. The waves have given the temple a deep external clean, and have managed to de-silt one of the reliefs that had long been covered with sand. The tsunami scrubbed away six feet of sand from a section of beach, uncovering a small cluster of long-buried boulders carved with animals, gods and servant girls. The most famous shore temple of Mahabalipuram was the worst hit during the 2004 tsunami. All Rights Reserved. According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Shore Temple: Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram in a day from Chennai with Guide & pick up drop (From US$135.00) An extraordinary - UNESCO Monuments Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai (From US$42.62) Full-Day Guided Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai with Lunch (From US$115.00) Live Updates: Nearby fire prompts brief security scare at Capitol, These Trump supporters still don't believe Biden will be president, Biden plans executive action on immigration, but warns of delay on bill, Cuomo gives update on COVID-19 in New York, Jailed Russian opposition leader calls on supporters to "resist", National Guard troops being vetted as they arrive to guard Capitol, "Cowboys for Trump" founder arrested by FBI, Trapped gold miners send up a desperate note begging for help, Anonymous donor gives $40 million to fund 50 civil rights lawyers, Securing the Capitol for the Biden-Harris Inauguration, Full coverage: Assault on the U.S. Capitol. And every tourist who heads there, is still told this tale, which is not entirely true. However, the strong structure survived the catastrophe with the least damage to … The festival was organized to promote the traditional dance as well as tourism in Mahabalipuram. Speaking to CWA, Robert Knox, Keeper of the Department of Asia at the British Museum said: This appears to be a very exciting revelation, and needs to be investigated thoroughly. The Shore temple is the only standing temple on board. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. *Some works at Mahabalipuram, such as Arjuna’s Penance and possible our rock-cut Vishnu as well, were designed to ‘perform’. Archaeologists have begun underwater excavations of what is believed to be an ancient city and parts of a temple uncovered by the tsunami off … Initially, excavations revealed an 8th-century Pallava-era shrine. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 2021 Current Publishing. A Sangam period Murugan temple unearthed at Mahabalipuram was discovered by a team of archaeologists from the ASI based on clues found in a rock inscription left exposed by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. So officially, researchers express little surprise at what was exposed. Mahabalipuram, Place that could take your travel to the next level Travel to History with the astonishing views in and out of the Shore Temple and its surroundings. Finally he added: "There was a lot of deaths, a lot of damage, a lot of destruction. Most likely this is the last of the legendary Seven PAgodas – other temples have been inundated under the sea and destroyed by terrible tsunami or earthquake long ago. On sunny weekend days hundreds of people now come to take a look at the carvings and splash their feet in the ocean. *Some important early artworks, inscriptions and a water-tanks were discovered near the Shore Temple due to the effect that the Tsunami of 2004 had on the landscape. Mahabalipuram Tourism; Mahabalipuram Hotels; Mahabalipuram Bed and Breakfast; Mahabalipuram Vacation Rentals For a few minutes, after the water had receded far from the shore and before it came raging back as a tsunami, the fishermen stood along the … Archaeologists have dated it to the 7th century (BBC Staff). Whatever they saw is back under water and out of sight. For the past three years, archaeologists working with divers from India and England have undertaken surveys stretching 1km into the sea and have identified underwater remnants likely to belong to the ancient port. During the reign of the Pallava dynasty, between the 3rd century CE and 7th century CE, it became an important centre of art, architecture and literature. The Tsunami that hit the shore of Coromandel in December 2004 exposed an old distorted temple and threw light on many speculations about Mahabalipuram. Shore Temple is built using the granite stones and it is one of the oldest stone temples in South India. The other six temples are thought to have been submerged under the sea. January 3, 2005 One of the monuments that survived the tsunami was the shore temple of Mahabalipuram (named after Mahabali of Onam festival or Pallava king Mamalla). But anonymously, fearing they'd be seen as callous, some researchers quietly acknowledge the tsunami revealed more than expected. The Pallavas, who were known to be great patrons of art wanted to create a temple in their own style of architecture. It is an architectural beauty standing tall by the beach. In the present day, Shore Temple makes the background of Mahabalipuram Dance Festival held annually in January/ February. F or more than one thousand years at the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram stands the Shore Temple. 2. Mahabalipuram, capital of an ancient kingdom and famous for its elaborate Hindu temples, escaped mostly unscathed, with only three dead and limited damage. "From an archaeological perspective, maybe the tsunami was good. Locals and tourists have flocked to see this statue since shortly after the tsunami. "My grandfathers said there was a port here once and a temple, but suddenly we could see it was real, we could see that something was out there.". It killed at least 126,000 people in Indonesia and at least 31,000 in Sri Lanka. The shore temple is a symbol of the ancient ruins of Mahabalipuram. But what did those fisherman see? The best place to have a great photography. According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Shore Temple: Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram in a day from Chennai with Guide & pick up drop (From US$135,00) An extraordinary - UNESCO Monuments Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai (From US$42,62) Full-Day Guided Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai with Lunch (From US$115,00) And there's something else the tsunami gave back - tourists, drawn by heated headlines in the Indian media about a rediscovered Atlantis. But a few hundred yards away, something else came to the surface. Or so they say. "We had no idea there were so many out there.". Now with equal vengeance, the myths may have become reality: the recent tsunami appears to have thrown evidence of the ancient port city back onto the beaches. Built under Narasimhavarman II in the 8th century, it’s the earliest significant free-standing stone temple in Tamil Nadu. Archaeologists say excavations on shore and at sea were already under way before the tsunami struck, and that divers made promising finds of barnacle-encrusted blocks that appear man-made. It is one of the famous structural stone temples that have stood up for years. How DHS plans to secure the Biden Inauguration, Small protests held at heavily guarded state Capitols, Rioters aimed to "capture and assassinate" lawmakers, filing says, Major airlines banning guns in checked bags to D.C. airports, Capitol rioters communicated using military hand signals, source says, WHO chief rips COVID vaccine inequalities: "It's not right", Entire Dutch government resigns over child welfare scandal, COVID-19 variant first found in U.K. could be dominant in U.S. by March, Putin foe Alexey Navalny detained as he returns to Moscow, California Privacy/Information We Collect. According to legends, Shore temple of Mahabalipuram was originally in a group of 7 temples of unparalleled beauty. Those temples, which according to myth are said to have once lined the shore, were so beautiful that the gods destroyed all but one - the so-called Shore Temple, a magnificently carved complex that is now considered a national treasure. 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