March 26, 2012

Mamallapuram Rayar Gopuram

Site Name: Rayar Gopuram
Site Type: Pallava architecture, tower, heritage
Location:  1 kms from bus stand, Mamallapuram, near Chennai (55 kms from Chennai), Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A famous heritage landmark

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 Pallava city, is with full of monumental and sculptural beauties. Apart from the popular tourist destinations such as Shore Temple and Arjuna's Penance, there are many monuments located in the hill located at the center of the town. If you access the hill from Arjuna's Penance, Rayar Gopuram is the second monument after Ganesha Ratha located in the hill. After you cross Rayar Gopuram, there are a lot of monuments located.

Rayar Gopuram is an unfinished tower. Had it been constructed completely, it would have been a magnificent structure. Perhaps, this was planned to be a gateway of all the monuments in the hill. It is not known what was the objective of this tower and the reason why this is called as Rayar Gopuram.

Rayar Gopuram has two pillars in the middle. Both the pillars have the image of a lady standing on top of yazhi, the mythological animal. The above panel of both the pillars have the images of Dasavatar. Apart from these pillars, there are two pairs of pilasters in the front side of the tower and two similar pairs of pilasters in the back side.

This unfinished but beautiful tower is a popular landmark. A lot of cine shootings of South Indian films happen in this site.

Happy travelling.


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