March 3, 2012

Mamallapuram Dharmaraja Mandap

Site Name: Dharmaraja Mandap
Site Type: Monument
Location:  1.5 kms from bus stand, Mamallapuram, near Chennai (55 kms from Chennai), Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An unknown monument in Mamallapuram
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options are available within Mamallapuram and East Coast Road outside the town
Restaurants: Many options and varieties across the town

Mamallapuram, the city of monuments, which is located near Chennai city in South India, is an important tourist site. It has a lot of very popular monuments such as Shore Temple and Arjuna's Penance. Not all the monuments in Mamallapuram became popular although all of them are good architectural pieces. Dharmaraja Mandapa is one of the monuments which is not very popular, but strikingly beautiful.

Dharmaraja Mandap is located behind the light house and next to the unfinished monolithic monument.It is an east facing triple celled cave. Its architectural style resembles that of Mandagapattu monument of Mahendravarma Pallava I. All the cells are empty today. Only the dwarapalaks images carved outside are faintly visible.

As per the inscription found in the mandapa, it is evident that this temple was referred as Atyantakama Pallaveshvara Griham and dedicated to Lord Shiva. There is a possibility that the other two shrines were dedicated to Brahma and Vishnu. It is also evident that this temple was constructed by Pallava king Parameshvaravarman I.

When you go to Mamallapuram, ensure that you visit this little known site also.

Happy travelling.

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