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Shore-Temple

Shore Temple

30 May 2018  Wed

The 100 Paisa (1 Rupee) denomination stamp depicts the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram. The temple is poised on the shore of the Bay of Bengal with waves lapping against its base. It belongs to the earliest phase of Dravidian temple architecture and is a splendid example of Pallava art.

It was built under the rule of King Narasimhavarman II. The granite rock cut carvings are proof of the sheer brilliance of the artisans who have created this magnificent structure. The structural designs can be only called ‘poetry in stone’. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.

The Shore Temple has three shrines, devoted to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The main temple is a five-storeyed structure sculpted out of granite dedicated to Lord Shiva. The pyramidal structure is 60 feet high and sits on a 50 feet square platform.

The temple has a Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) 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 end, there are two shrines facing each other. One shrine is dedicated to Ksatriyasimnesvara and the other to Lord Vishnu. In the shrine, Lord Vishnu is seen reclining on the 'Seshanag', which is a symbol of consciousness in Hinduism.

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Image Source: Mintage World